Once upon a time there was a small cherry tree growing in an orchard. The cherry tree was called Blossom. She was very sad. She had no blossoms or fruit. Blossom looked around at the other cherry trees and wanted to be just like them.
One day a tiny snail was looking for a home. His name was Jimbo. He saw the orchard of cherry trees and decided to make his way down the hill. He landed at the foot of a small cherry tree and looked up. “This looks like the perfect place for my new home,” he said, so he slid up the bark into a hole in the heart of the tree. Blossom felt a tiny movement in the centre of her belly. I wonder what that is, she thought.
The snail had a rest in the hole and then slid out onto a twig. Blossom saw the tiny creature. “Hey,” she said. “What are you doing here?” “I’m making myself a home,” he said. Blossom was confused and thought, who would want to live with her when she had no blossoms or cherries? She asked the snail, “Why would you make a home here?” to which Jimbo replied, “I feel safe here. I can see if any birds are coming for me and this hole will protect me.” Blossom was surprised.
Slowly over the next few days the tiny snail and cherry tree got to know each other better. Blossom did not feel lonely anymore and Jimbo was happy in his new home. After one year Jimbo noticed that the cherry tree had not grown bigger, had no blossoms and was not bearing fruit. He asked Blossom, “Why?” Blossom cried for two days and then told the tiny snail that she did not know why. Jimbo thought about it long and hard. He was a wise little snail and it suddenly struck him. “Do you love yourself?” he asked. “How can I?” said Blossom, “When I’m so different from the other cherry trees. I am tiny and have never had any blossoms or fruit.” “Oh,” said Jimbo, “But that is the key to your problem. If you don’t love yourself you cannot bloom into the cherry tree you are meant to be.” Blossom thought about this and got angry. “Well, if you’re so wise - then tell me how to love myself!”
Jimbo was a patient snail and over time taught Blossom the importance of loving herself for the tree she was. Blossom started looking at her positive characteristics. She had a beautiful bark and strong roots. Her branches and twigs reached up to the sky and she was in the centre of the orchard. She also thought how she was a home for Jimbo.
One day a tiny pink and white bud started to grow. She didn’t notice it, but Jimbo shouted out, “You’ve got a bud!” Blossom did not know what he was talking about, but then saw the bud as the sunlight touched it. Wow, she thought. She was so happy. The happier she became, the more buds appeared. Soon the buds turned into blossoms and over time beautiful red cherries appeared. It was clear to Blossom that Jimbo was right. She had now learned to love herself and had grown into the cherry tree she always wanted to be.
One early evening Jimbo called to Blossom and said, “You have given me a wonderful home Blossom, but it is now time for me to move on.” Blossom started to cry and said, “Please don’t leave me Jimbo. How will I ever manage without you?” Jimbo replied, “You have grown so much dear Blossom. I am so proud of all that you have achieved. My wish is that you continue to love yourself for the special cherry tree that you are.” Blossom thought about it and realised that she could not hold Jimbo back. She had indeed grown in so many ways and was grateful for her time with Jimbo and for all the life lessons that he had taught her. “I will miss you Jimbo,” she said as she shed a tear. Jimbo replied, “Me too” and off he headed up the hill towards the sunset. Blossom was now a cherry tree of happiness thanks to Jimbo, who would live forever in her heart.
One of my key focus points as a Registered Counsellor is to develop a client’s self-esteem. We often tend to focus on our weaknesses and that can spiral into negative thinking and affect one’s self-esteem. I help my clients to become aware of their positive characteristics and strengths in order to develop their self-esteem. It is necessary to talk about one’s strengths and positive traits in conjunction to using the arts in order to discover one’s inner resources. I assist my clients in the same way that Jimbo assisted Blossom to see what she couldn’t see at the time. It is my clients, who, through talking and using the arts, must come to their own realisation that they are good enough. I guide my clients to draw on their inner resources and in so doing, realise their self-worth.
Here’s an art activity to try at home.