While I was in Japan, I visited Japanese cypress (hinoki) and thujopsis dolabrata (asunaro) forests. I read an interesting story about “asu-naro.” In Japanese, Asu means tomorrow. Naro means I want to be or I will be. It is said that this tree grows each day by wanting to become a hinoki tomorrow. In fact, arunaro and hinoki look alike. Yet hinoki is a lot more valued for its durability, fragrance, beauty and many more reasons. No wonder aunaro trees would want to become hinoki trees one day! Well, I think that this interpretation reflects human mentality, not tree’s. 😉
How many times have we tried to be someone else and ended up feeling anxious and unfulfilled? Having goals for the future is great, because it gives us motivation to grow. The problem is “who will you want to be?” For a long time, I tried to be someone else, too. After having spent so much time and efforts, I might have looked successfully imitating others, but I was never real. I could not shake off the feeling that I was wearing someone else’ clothes. I felt a bit awkward and not free. “I am not good enough” feeling was always there, because I was too busy imitating others to allow my authentic self to be fully expressed in this world.
In this life, I believe that each person is learning to become “who she/he really is.” Just as trees, each of us has its own splendid uniqueness, and it is soooo important to recognize and express our authentic self. Otherwise, we are holding back or denying our own previous gift to the world – our existence. “With all my uniqueness, today’s ‘I’ am good. And tomorrow I will be my best ‘I’!” I am guessing that asunaro trees were actually thinking this way, because they looked happy and flourishing in the forest!