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That’s Amore: The Story of a Girl & Her Tree

The Saga Begins

It was a humid summer morning in Bloomington, Indiana, and I was strolling through the bustle and color of the farmer’s market downtown, senses sharpened by the electric sensation of bright sunlight and unbounded possibility.

…And then, all of a sudden, time stood still. There he was.

He looked at me. I looked at him. It was a gaze heard across the world; a moment beyond words. Love at first sight. I promptly paid $2.50 for him, and carried him home on my bicycle.

Meet Ficus, my life partner, travel companion, and copilot. He’s a stalwart, intrepid little fig tree who started as a sprout the size of my hand. After over a decade together, he’s now a full-fledged tree; taller than I, with personality for miles and some serious swagger.

My friends ask how Ficus is doing. My mom gives him a high five whenever she sees him. My connection with this tree is quite deep and quite real, for reasons beyond intellectual comprehension. It’s a thing.

The deep irony here is that Ficus (houseplants being typically a rather stationary lifeform) happened to choose a life partner who tends to be a total nomad, left to her own devices, with a deep love of the expansiveness of chasing the horizon, following the call of inspiration, and the freedom and movement of that. The joy of my connection with this plant is that he’s totally game for those things too, bobbing along next to me in the passenger seat for all the many sojourns. Music up, windows down, and velocity as a breakfast food is the way we roll.

As my copilot for the past ten years or so, Ficus and I have traveled a staggering number of miles together, braved extreme temperatures where we both woke up either frosty or scorched, and have shared all sorts of adventures across the country—fun, lesson-rich, and often at least a bit precarious. Ficus is unique in that he’s a houseplant who’s traveled more miles and seen more of the country than most humans have.

The driving force (no pun intended) behind most of my moves, and the reason why Ficus has such a ridiculous number of miles to his name is because of one thing.


In the Name of Velocity

You see, throughout my roaring 20s, I moved across the country more times than anybody cares to count or can begin to keep track of anymore (least of all myself). All in the name of love; of that which keeps the fire burning and the spark alive.

…This equates to a rather preposterous number of moves to a rather preposterous number of different cities across the country. Love even took me to a foreign country for an extended period of time. Ficus wasn’t allowed to cross the border with me on that occasion, so I stuffed him in a box—he’s a tough cookie—and shipped him across the country to my mother, who was gracious enough to water him until I headed back to the States. 

For all those many moves (except the international hiatus), Ficus was right there with me; my compatriot in chasing the horizon. And in chasing love. He’s seen it all. And oh, the stories he could tell.

Most of the time, he’s pretty good at keeping a poker face, but he has not-so-subtly rolled his leafy green eyes—and uttered many a proverbial “Hail Mary”—at some of the stunts I’ve pulled in the name of love. (He prefers to think he’s pretty stealthy and that I haven’t noticed his covert color commentary, but believe me, nothing’s louder than when your plant rolls his eyes at you.)

Love: A Psychic Perspective

All that said, let’s talk about this thing called “love” for just a minute here. Why would anyone move upwards of [insert preposterous, slightly incriminating number of times here] in the name of love…?

Well, A), some of us like change. I actually LOVE putting all my earthly possessions in the car, leaving it all behind, and setting off for sights unseen. I’m absolutely in my element.

And B), there’s the part about how it’s totally natural to be attracted to things romance-related and to be wanting connection with those we’re attracted to. It’s just nature. 

But let’s consider Option C), from a psychic perspective: why—actually—someone would move across the continent the ungodly amount of times I have, in the name of love. Seriously: ¿Por qué? ¿Estoy completamente loca?

Psychically speaking, and from what I’ve learned through many sojourns, is that there are energetic phenomena deeply inherent in so much of how we’re conditioned, in our culture, to approach love. It’s actually extremely common in our culture to be constantly questing for love. Let’s explore this in some more depth.

And please note: as I offer this perspective, I’m not trying to take all the magic, beauty, and wonder out of love. I’m really not. It can, truly, be helium, wingedness, and poetry for the heart and soul. But, for real, let’s talk about the actual nitty gritty of it: how the mechanics of love so often work in our culture, from a psychic standpoint.

  • “Love” can often, actually, simply be a case of energetic cording. This is when you are literally energetically corded with and/or connected with your love interest, energetically speaking. It’s when you’re pushing and pulling on each other’s energy. Either they’ve corded into you and are draining your energy, or you’re cording into them and draining their energy, or both. Sexy, huh? …Not quite the stuff of Shakespearean sonnets, if you ask me.
  • “Love” can also, actually, just be a situation where there’s foreign energy in your space. This is when maybe it’s actually someone else’s truth/want/wish/desire that you step into love in the first place. And what can often happen is that you’re unaware that you’re acting from a place that’s actually not based on YOUR own truth. It can be tricky biz!
  • “Love” can also be an instance of karma—an unmet desire—playing out, which is often a catalyst in the so-called “love” equation. Maybe, for example, you chopped each other’s heads off in an oh-so-charming way in another lifetime together. And perhaps, as souls, you set the intention that you’d have a love relationship this time around so you could hopefully potentially heal things and experience the very opposite of what you experienced last time around together. (Or, maybe, you’re still metaphorically trying to chop each others’ heads off this time around…!) …Ah, love.
  • AND, if you wanted to take it a step deeper, the root of the constant quest for love in our culture is essentially that sneaky social perfect picture that has everyone programmed to think, “I’m not doing it right.” It’s that loud, pervasive social programming that inundates us at every turn (think just about every single song, billboard, advertisement, or Disney movie you’ve ever seen).

This social programming flashes us this perfect picture of “if you don’t have a spouse, a house, 2.5 kids, and a white picket fence, that means you’re not doing it right; you’re not perfect; you’re not enough; you don’t have it together; something’s wrong with you; you have to keep trying until you get it ‘right;’ you have to be something other than what you are;” etc. And we’re getting slammed with this energy 24/7 in our culture, from every conceivable angle!

I speak from personal experience: this can get pretty exhausting PRETTY quickly, if you know what I mean. It’s a pretty crunchy energy. Like, it’s all you can do to get your coffee down in the morning in the face of all this.

I’ve found it to be extremely liberating to do healing work around this topic, validating that you get to choose for yourself how you relate to love, from a place of your OWN truth, as opposed to operating off of that societal picture that says, “You’re doing it wrong if you don’t have a partner RIGHT NOW,” etc.

Once you clear out any energetic cording, foreign energy, karma you’re ready to release, and/or clear that perfect picture from your space that says “you’re not doing it right if it doesn’t look like THIS,” BOOMPH. Freedom with regards to if, when, and how you choose love.

All that said: all of my shooting-off-to-the-next-edge-of-the-universe-in-the-name-of-love throughout my younger days DID bring a lot of beauty, experience, and learning. I DID get to meet many incredible, virtuosic, and awe-inspiring souls on my journeys. I’ve got stories to TELL—and then some (#whoababe)—because of it.

Choose Your OWN Way

However, as I reflect back on my journey now, I realize that once I cleared that energy around “I’m not doing it right” with regards to love, it became a whole new world of spaciousness, validation, and permission to choose how I related to love in my own way and in my own time, in affinity with my own truth and clarity, as opposed to that knee-jerk programming to just fly off to the edge of the universe at the drop of a hat in the name of love, time and time again.

Much like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, I now realize that I actually had what I was looking for all along, already with me. As the energy of relationship begins first and foremost with the tone we set with ourselves, a healthy relationship with oneself is the foundation and tone from which every other relationship takes its cue. And, as with Dorothy, it took going on all the journeys to learn that in the deepest way for myself.

And as far as external love goes, I’ve had a unique love in my life partnership with Ficus, my leafy green copilot through this life.

Sometime down the road, if and when the time is right, I hope to experience a miraculous and gorgeously unique and unconventional kind of love, with a human, in a way I’m not yet able to fathom or even begin to imagine. I’m holding space for something beyond what I’ve ever known is possible.

That said, what I’ve learned from a beautiful life partnership with a tree—and the many miles we’ve been together—is that sometimes it’s the unlikeliest of characters who become our dearest copilots. And that for everything—including love—there is a season, and that we must honor our own truth in following the natural seasons of our own unique heart and our own unique path.

Love & Relationships

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