Want to understand the world better? Personify it.

There've been a lot of tree and plant analogies lately; especially pertaining to growth and the environment by which something grows in. I'm just trying to get on my tupuna's (ancestors) level and follow in their footsteps of drawing metaphors from the taiao (natural environment) to better understand the world and myself.

Plus, examples like trees and an interdependent forest system are easy to visualise.

Our understanding of whakapapa (genealogy, connection); how we descend from Tāne, atua of the forest and the forest itself, might also be why metaphors and analogies based on the taiao resonate so well. 

Anyway, it feels like analogies make everything make sense. Or maybe that's just me. . .

When I started to view myself as a seed that had been buried to grow and bear new fruits, it was like how Tāne flipped himself upside down into a stronger and more stable position to separate Rangi (Sky Father) and Papatūānuku (Mother Earth). I had a totally different perspective of my situation, myself and everything and began to generate feelings of gratitude, appreciation and empathy rather than shame, embarrassment and judgement.

Before I was buried by the weight of my perceived problems (based on the story I convinced myself to be true in my head), I based my worth and identity on external factors; on things that could be taken away or let go at any time. And when they did get taken away; 

my life as I knew it, imploded.

That's what it felt like at the time anyway. It was painful, messy and lonely. Painful because I didn't know who I was or what it meant to be Hana anymore; I had equated my identity and worth to things that were external to me, so when they were taken away it was the dilemma of 'who am I if I'm not doing those things?' a.k.a painful.

Messy, because I went through multiple processes of building, tearing down, rebuilding, stripping away again and rebuilding a new identity; a new set of values and metrics to measure myself by. It's an ongoing process, as I'm continually growing, but at the beginning it wasn't pretty to witness. The old values and measures I had were eliminated and I was starting fresh.

Lonely, because I didn't know what I was going through. I didn't know how to articulate it or describe it to anyone for some time, so of course nobody else would understand how I was feeling or the thoughts in my head.

I can't remember exactly when it was, but along the way I noticed the story in my head, the story I was telling myself about myself and the world started to change. I became less and less judgemental of myself for the series of events that lead to my current state of being.

I was no longer 'too much this' or 'too little that', 

My expectations of myself totally shifted. I started to be more kind to myself, to see my failures and mistakes not as defining moments but as learning ones instead. As experiments I'd collected data for, for what to do, or what not to do next time. . .

And boy do I have stacks of data for what Hana should not and cannot do!! Haha, but honestly, the moment I likened myself to a seed becoming undone to grow into the next phase, or a plant growing in the ngahere (forest); constantly growing and learning how to get more sunlight or nutrients from the soil and how the root system works and so on... 

Or in people terms; unbecoming everything I wasn't, to become who I'm meant to be.. Experimenting with different things I want to do, trying unconventional approaches to doing life and to 'being Hana'.

Personifying the environment, or should I say, applying and understanding whakapapa to my life has changed it completely.

I wouldn't have it any other way.

Tēnā tātou,

Hana