The Giving Tree I thought was good
Now I see unhealthy wood
It gave of self in rarest form
yet reaped no love in return
It gave and gave 'till none was left
save a stump - its one last gift
So when comes the very last page
the boy is old and tired with age
And still the boy does not see
the value of the Giving Tree
Despite the tree's steadfast will
the boy is old and unhappy still
I wonder would things different be
if it had been a sharing tree
Welcome to the third and final part of the Sharing Tree Inspiration!
If you have not read Part 1 or Part 2 or would like to refresh your memory, click the respective links.
If you would like to jump right to the new stuff in Part 3, click here.
This poem is about the book The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. If you are not familiar with the book, I encourage you to take five minutes to read it online via this PDF. which has the full text and illustrations.
For my readers who do not want to read the whole story, I have written the summary below of the parts of the story relevant to this inspiration:
A little boy loves an apple tree, which he climbs and plays in every day, and the tree loves the boy. As the boy ages, he loses interest in climbing the tree and often leaves the tree alone for long periods of time. The tree misses the boy terribly.
One day the boy comes to the tree to ask for money, and the tree offer's the boy her apples to sell so he can get money and be happy. The boy takes the apples without thanking the tree and goes away for a long time. The tree is sad again.
This boy comes to the tree between long intervals throughout his life. Each time he requests the tree to give him something else, and tree does so at her own expense.
In addition to giving the boy her apples, the tree gives him her branches and then her trunk, until all that is left of her is a stump, which she also gives to him, hence the nameThe Giving Tree.
The Giving Tree is happy every time she sacrifices part of herself for the boy because she thinks the sacrifices make him happy, and that's all that matters to her.
At the end of the book, when the Giving Tree has given literally all of herself to make the boy happy, he is still not happy.
When I read this book as a young child, I came to three conclusions that shaped my life well into adulthood.
What does loving mean to you?
What do you believe about giving and receiving?
What do you think about the idea that a person can make someone else happy?
In Part 1, I explored these questions from the perspective of the Giving Tree as she responds to the boy's request for money in the different mindsets of the first catabolic (destructive) Core Energy levels, level 1 and level 2.
In Part 2, I explored the same questions from the perspective of the Giving Tree as she responds to the boy's request for money in the different mindsets of the first two anabolic (constructive) Core Energy levels - level 3 and level 4.
I am touching lightly on the concepts of catabolic and anabolic energy here, defining them as destructive and constructive respectively. For an in depth discussion and examples of catabolic and anabolic energy, read my I've Seen The World From Both Sides Now blog.
If you are new to the concept of Core Energy, you may find yourself overwhelmed by all the information.
This is perfectly normal.
Don't give up! Just take your time reading the inspiration. Use the links I've included to explore earlier inspirations in which I introduce the concept of Core Energy in detail.
Stop when your brain feels full, and come back to it when you are rested.
Level Five Mindset
In part 3 I explore the same questions from the perspective of the Giving Tree as she responds to the boy's request for money in the mindset of the third anabolic Core Energy level - level 5.
I have an idea that will benefit both of us. I need half of my apples to reproduce the number trees I want. I would give you the other half my apples to sell. In exchange for my apples you would feed me enough tree food to grow more apples than I gave you.
The core thought at level 5 is reconciliation, which might show up like this:
There's nothing wrong with your perspective or mine. They are just different.
The core emotion is peace, which might show up like this:
I'm at peace with myself and my life.
The result of level 5 core thought and core emotion is acceptance, which might show up like this:
It's ok that we want different things. This doesn't have to be a win/lose situation. Let's come up with a win/win option where we both get what we want.
Where do you see level 5 core characteristics in the tree's response?
How does level 5 energy show up for you?
How does a person in the level 5 energy mindset see love?
Love means accepting a person as they are without judgment, and without trying to change them.
What does a person in the level 5 energy mindset believe about giving and receiving?
Both giving and receiving are important.
I am interested only in relationships with an equal exchange of giving and receiving.
What does a person in the level 5 energy mindset think about the idea that a person can make someone else happy?
Happiness comes from within.
Now that you're familiar with energy levels 1 through 5, think about the relationship between the boy and the Giving Tree.
What is the Giving Tree's energy level in the poem?
If you said level 4, you are right!
The tree is concerned that the boy isn't happy, has compassion for his suffering, and serves him by giving of herself to her own detriment.
How would things be different it if were a sharing tree?
There would be both give and take in the relationship. It would be a win/win relationship.
There are two higher levels of core energy, but I will tell you about them in another inspiration. Five levels are enough for now.
What insights into yourself have you gained from the Sharing Tree inspiration?
How might these insights improve you relationships, both with yourself and others?
If you would like to know more about Core Energy and find out how your energy is distributed let me know. I offer an assessment that does that.and more.
I've shown you how someone in the mindset of each energy level would think and behave, but this is a simplification of something quite complex.
Your Core Energy is almost always distributed across multiple energy levels in percentages. When I was in coach training I took an assessment that measured my Core Energy distribution under normal everyday experiences and also when I am under unusual stress.
The chart below shows my Core Energy distribution under normal circumstances at the time I took the assessment.
I had taken the assessment eight months earlier when I was just beginning to work with a life coach. At that time over 20% of my energy was in the catabolic energy levels 1 and 2.
You can see the results of working with my life coach. Only 9% of my energy is in the catabolic levels.
What happened to that catabolic energy? I shifted it into anabolic energy! How did I do that? I worked with my coach to raise my consciousness of who I am.
I can help you do the same if you are willing to do the rewarding work of personal growth.
Through my coach training I have become a certified Master Practitioner of this assessment, which is called the Energy Leadership Index (ELI)
If you are interested in taking the ELI assessment, email me I will make it happen!
Want to receive weekly inspirations like this in your inbox?
Joyce Collins is a life coach who specializes in helping women who were sexually abused as a child to transform themselves into confident women who love themselves and lead fulfilling lives.