I was only a toddler when I first became captivated with trees. Climbing trees was especially fascinating to me. If I could climb higher than my friends, it somehow made me feel unique. And for the first years of childhood, I was an unbeatable climber among my peers.

Until the dreadful day when I decided to use a branch of a tree as my airplane yoke. Picture the scene…

I’m straddling a big branch at the top of a tree, high above my friends on the ground. Suddenly, I’m a daring pilot making dangerous maneuvers through the sky as I steer the imaginary yoke to the left and right. Just as I start to make a hard-banking turn, I hear a crack. Suddenly, I’m back to being David “the unbeatable climber,” and I’m in free fall through the air.

If I had a parachute, I’d pull the ripcord right now. But no such luck—I’m heading for a full-face collision with the ground.

With a scratched-up face, a broken nose, and a sprained wrist, I’m flat on the ground, crying for help. Fortunately, my dad comes to the rescue, and after a visit to the hospital, I’m told I’ll be just fine. But not before the pediatrician tells me to leave the airplane flying to the professionals. Thanks, Doc.

I was lucky to only incur minor injuries, but I still learned a valuable lesson: when you get too cocky about your own abilities, you may experience a humiliating fall. In other words, the ego has an uncanny ability to get us all into trouble.

Join me for the next couple of weeks as we look at trees and its relation to the ego, religion, and our awakening to our true self.

To be continued tomorrow…

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