Tree analogy for relationships - leaves, branches, roots, flowers

There are three kinds of people in your life. If your life is like a tree, there are some people who are roots, some people are branches, and some are leaves. And then there are some relationships that are like fruits of the tree.

Leaves

Some people are like leaves. They are fun and colorful at the beginning, but they are there only for a season. You can enjoy them for a while, but you can’t depend on them because when the season of life changes, they too fall. When the cold wind blows, the leaves blow away with them.
 
People who are like leaves in your life, are like good time friends - You can appreciate the moments you spend with them, create fun memories to think back to, and even provide you shade from the harsh weather for a season.
 
But remember that the seasons in lives change, and with each seasons, the leaves change too. And while you can have gratitude for the moments you enjoy with people who are like leaves in your life, you can also detach from any pain that they bring because they were never meant to be there forever.

Branches

The second kind of relationships in life are like branches. The branches are people that you have to be careful with - because they will make you think that they are your good friends, that you can trust them. They appear strong, and they even stick around for some seasons in your life.
 
People who are like branches in your life will be there for you through some situations in life, but when you face a storm in life, or when you put too much weight on it, the break easily.
 
These are the people who say that I’m always there for you, that you can depend on me, but when you reach out to them, you realize that all these promises were hollow. Branches can give you a false sense of security, but they break away easily when it gets tough.
 
But these aren’t always ill-intentioned people. Sometimes people promise too much but aren’t able to follow-through on because of their own limitations - because they aren’t honest with themselves and with other people.

You cannot change the people around you… but you can change the people you choose to be around.
Roy T. Bennett

Roots

And then there are people who are like roots in your life - These are the relationships that are permanent. Friendships and relationships that stick with you through all the seasons of life.
 
These relationships and people are hard to find because they are not trying to be seen. They stay low-key, but they are always there for you. When you need support, they feed you and water you. They nourish you - physically and emotionally, and when you are growing - they grow with you.
 
These are friendships that go through everything with you - through every up and down in life, they stay by your side. They don’t waver, because their job is to hold you up, and when you come out of a tough season of life, these friendships have often grown even stronger, as friends worth keeping for life.

Flowers

This analogy was first shared by Tyler Perry, who talked about these three types of relationships, but I like to add a fourth type of relationship to this analogy, which is the flowers.
 
Just like leaves, flowers too are in your life for a short period of time - often even less than a season. But they draw your attention unlike anything else. They are bright and beautiful - they attract you with their sweet smell, but the moment you pick these flowers - they start to die off. They are like islands of happiness, often surrounded by sea of thorns.
 
People often idealize these relationships because they’re drawn to them, and can start comparing the bright colors of the flower to that of leaves, branches, and roots, which might appear boring on the surface. But remember that much like flowers on a tree, these relationships in your life for a brief moment in life. They bring joy in your life only for a day, but are gone the very next day.
 
Different people play different roles in different relationship. A tree in it’s lifetime can have a thousands of leaves, hundred of branches, but only a few roots. So are the relationships in our lives. We all have moments in our lives, where people have been leaves, branches and roots to us - and there might have been moments where you were you might have been a root for your best friend, and at the same time, a leaf for someone else.
 
Looking at your relationships through this analogy, gives you chance to be honest with yourself, and people around you. Knowing who is a leaf or a flower, and who is a root in your life, will help you regulate your expectations from that relationships. And knowing to whom you can be only be a branch and for whom you can be a root will help you be more honest and genuine in the bonds that you create - and the hold the trust that people put in you.
 
A tree needs all 4 of these things. It needs roots for its survival, branches for its growth, leaves to enjoy the sunshine, and flowers for beauty and fragrance. We need all of these relationships in our life too, Yet, when it comes to fulfillment, we need to surround ourselves with people who to your overall growth - Emotional, mental and physical growth and wellbeing. A tree can replace its leaves and branches every season, as long as it is strong with it’s roots. When you get some roots, hold onto them. As for the rest of your relationships, enjoy them in this season of life, but also be okay to let it go.
 
So today I’m encouraging you to reflect on people in your own life - Who is a leaf, a branch, a root, or a flower in your life, and to whom are you a leaf, a flower, a branch, or a root.

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