I looked out the window and what did I see...popcorn popping on the Apricot Tree

I was reading a blog this morning and a story jumped out at me:

Cherie Call, one of my favorite musicians, told of planting three tiny twig trees.  The smallest apricot tree didn't seem to be growing so she bought a bigger, stronger tree.  But, as she was getting ready to pull up the tiny tree, it seemed to ask her to have faith in it.  She planted the new tree somewhere else and let the little apricot tree go unharmed. 
A year later, through sunny weather followed by harsh spring snowstorms, it was the little apricot tree that produces fruit first.
"In the music world, it is easy to panic and feel like in order to be relevant you need to try to sound more like other more successful people. I think this might actually be the very worst idea anyone has ever dreamed up. Never have I failed more dismally than when I have tried this. What would be relevant about being like everyone else? Of course you can’t be oblivious to current styles. But it is absolutely necessary for survival to be unique. It turns out that the answer to many music career problems is the same as the answer to a big pile of other problems in life whether they are dating problems or superstar problems. The answer is: Be you. If you are an apricot tree, be so apricoty that someday you will hear people say, “It’s not fair. I wasn’t born as a scrawny twig of an apricot tree like she was.” People will want to know more about you and they might even try to imitate you. Or not. But it won’t matter because you are a very happy apricot tree and that’s that. You will solve problems in an apricot way and it will work.
I feel so much more power when I think this way. The moment you stop being a victim and begin to be excited about your unique story and how you will write it, your whole world changes. Challenges just become the exciting, suspenseful part of the story, and you decide for yourself what an apricot would do. So there you go. The parable of the apricot tree."http://www.cheriecall.com/blog/

Why did I love this?  Well, Social Work is all about self- evaluation (one of our assignments was a 10 page self- analysis!!) and even though I have finished this semester of school, my self-evaluation can't seem to stop twirling around in my head. And Cherie's story is really all about us and what we can become.

My story is unique-just as is yours. Early in my teenage life, I received some wise counsel that has always stuck with me:  Although my life circumstances have handed me an emotional 'withered arm' I have two choices: I can moan about not having two strong functional arms, or I can find out what I can accomplish with the arms I have. Each of us can be happy or not about the situation we are in.  We can each decide what our attitude is going to be.  
Sometimes I do better at having a positive attitude than at other times. 

For several months, circumstances in my life have seemed more like chains than like growing opportunities and taking care of my own arms, withered though they be, has been thrown to the bottom of the list. As a result, my positive attitude has been buried beneath pounds of weight, both body and soul. 

Now that school is over for a few months, it was time for a shift in focus: just how can I continue to hold the chains currently binding me while maintaining freedom.  Oh yea, and being positive all the while?!
Well, the answer comes in little puzzle pieces; each day a new little glimpse of something that might help...like the parable of the apricot tree. I can choose to view my life in a positive frame or a negative frame.  I can choose to label my chains in a dark or a light way. I can believe in overcoming the winds that try to blow me over and become stronger and firmer.

My story continues, but each time I am handed another puzzle piece, I feel a little stronger, making those chains seem lighter.