Broken and Barren: June 26, 2016

Beauty all around

I just returned from a trip to the mountains of Western North Carolina where I spent a week with a special spiritual brother. I am flooded with thoughts and emotions. We spent a lot of time on the Blue Ridge Parkway admiring the awesomeness of the lush green mountains. The views were stunning. We made several stops to explore and gaze at the beauty. It was 94 degrees down in the city of Asheville when we left to drive the parkway. When we reached over 6000 feet elevation, the temperature registered 71degrees with a nice breeze. Lying on the ground starring up at the blue sky, wind blowing over my body, birds singing, and the fragrant smell of different flowers was a very spiritual time for me. It was a time of appreciation for life. It was a time of great awareness. I became acutely aware of feeling the sprigs of grass on my legs, arms, feet, hands, and the back of my head. I felt grounded to the earth. I also was acutely aware of the smells, sights, sounds, and fresh clean air that filled my lungs as I took a deep breath inward over and over again. It was heaven. I was feeling so grateful.

As we drove the winding roads through the parkway, I begin to notice barren trees scattered throughout the beautiful mountains. I thought about how those barren trees must be more vulnerable to the elements such as the wind, rain, ice, and snow. They had no leaves or lush greenery to protect them from the elements yet they were claiming their space and still standing tall. The broken and barren trees were a great reminder to me of what once was and what is to come. It is the same in our personal lives. One’s eye may be drawn only to the beauty of the lush greenery, but as I continued to stare at the magnificence of the mountains, I realized that the broken and barren trees added to the beauty. Even though they were broken and barren, they were no less beautiful.

Many times in my life I have felt broken and barren like those trees. I began to think about my life and the cycles of it. I realized that I have gone through times and seasons just like those trees. I have experienced the season of fall in my personal life when seemingly everything was stripped away. All of the leaves were gone and I stood barren. This metaphorical process is just a part of life. The trees teach us that when we’ve lost everything, we can still stand. I have learned to appreciate the barren and broken times as much as the lush green times. Personally I have realized that the broken and barren times are times of restoration for me. They have proven to be a time of reflection and evaluation of self.

Take time to enjoy and be aware of all the beauty around you. Notice the beauty in the broken and barren as well as in the lush green. There is beauty in everything and everyone. See it. Appreciate it. Love it. Embrace it. Think about the times you’ve been broken and barren like those trees and realize that you are still beautiful even in those times. You can still stand tall and claim your space in those times.

I am grateful to you for taking the time to read my thoughts. I am hopeful that they will help create change, awareness, and stimulate self-healing in your personal life. I would be ever so grateful to hear your thoughts and experiences. Please leave a reply in the comments section to help us all grow together and realize that we are all one in this journey of life. The broken and barren stand together with the lush green. We all walk this earth together.

See you next Sunday for my Weekly Sunday Blog. I hope you will be inspired to enter your email address and follow the blog by email. Your support is appreciated. Have a great week and remember to see the beauty in all.


13 Replies to “Broken and Barren: June 26, 2016”

  1. Vince Shifflett,
    I’m glad you had wonderful experience in the Mountains! It’s great to get away and find your spirtual self.
    In the this day and time with the hustle and bustle of life, We have to keep God first in our lifes with His Almighty Goodness and With Grace…..
    Thank You I needed to read this!

  2. Beautifully penned, Vince! One of my favorite expressions, “it’s a season of my ife.” Circumstances constantly change, and we must, too.

    1. Susan,

      Thanks for your kind words. You are so right. The one constant in our lives is change. We must learn to embrace it and go with the flow. Thanks for your feedback. It means a lot. I look forward to more from you.


  3. Wow! Vince, love and live your article- the reason I have to go to the mountains which is more spiritual than anything else. Winter is my favorite season to go there. I think of my ancestors who lived there and their ability to withstand life’s hardships and know that we have to be grateful for life to keep us from giving up. I try to visit weekly a very special 94 year old who also serves as a reminder that in life, we’re all going to endure struggles and loss but faith will keep us going.

    Kathy Wood Lilly

    1. Kathy,

      Thank you once again for your thoughtful, insightful response. I always find your comments inspiring. You are so right, faith will keep us going. Faith and trust in knowing that God is in us and flows through us. Much love to you and your family.


  4. Timely thoughts in light of the current world situation. On one hand, we have millions of people searching for new homes because they have been forced out of their own…..just how barren can that be for them, yet they move on in the hope of finding comfort and beauty again! Then, on the other hand, we have someone who wants only to feed his own gain through the barrenness and pain of others. On one hand, we have the worse mass shooting in the history of the country yet the survivors and supporters look for hope again and lean on the love of their friends and families to see them through the barrenness of this loss. Then, on the other hand, we have someone who, again, uses the situation to “prove his point” and others who can’t see pass legislative protocol to protect the people of the country against the sale of weapons to those who have no business owning them. Timely thoughts in light of the current world situation.

    1. Gigi,

      Thanks so much for your thoughtful response. You brought up some great points that I had not thought of. I really appreciate your feedback. Love you much.


  5. Really beautiful and well said. Time to put these blogs into a book “Sunday Blogs”.

    1. Sibyl,

      Thanks so much for your continued support and encouragement as I fulfill my passion in an effort to help others on their way.


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