I’m on a long walk, and I pass some tree stumps. Clearly, they suffered from heart rot.
I know about this. I learned this lesson in 2012.
Back then, I wrote this:
My youngest and I examine a tree trunk by our home. Once, it stood tall over the neighborhood, but experts knew something wasn’t right.
The tree suffered from heart rot and had to be cut down.
The entire inside of this externally beautiful tree rotted. (And yes, the heart rot possesses the shape of an actual heart. I feel like Someone’s trying to get my attention.)
How did this happen? Why? When? How could such an enormous and wonderful tree actually reveal nothing but hollow decay?
Both my daughter and I need to know. (I’m really asking about myself and my own heart. I’m really asking about my own internal states.)
We research a bit and discover how heart rot results from decay caused by fungi that enters from wounds cause by storms, improper pruning, and insects or animals. These wounds will come, but we learn how to prevent or minimize the rot.
Yes, tell me! Teach me how to minimize heart rot when the wounds come!
Apparently, you want to make sure you have deep root feeding and properly sealed wounds. You have to make sure toxins cannot continue to enter. You also need to remove–by pruning–those parts of you that allow the harmful things in. I learn about clean breaks. I learn that if, in fact, heart rot begins, a tree knows how to compartmentalize. The tree knows how to grow around the decay and form a border so it can’t harm the rest of the tree.
In my own spiritual life, I consider deep-root feeding on God, clean breaks from toxic things, and creating boundaries against decay. I think deeply about the “root of bitterness” that can defile our core. I think about love and forgiveness and unity and acceptance.
I don’t want heart rot. Living with flair means we’re beautiful and strong, inside and out.