The Will to Survive

Poem and Photo by Ross Rosenberg, 1996

ross rosenberg

The old oak tree stands tall

but crooked.

It’s cracked,


creviced surface.

reflects the assault of the seasons.

The rain,

heat and snow

of seasons yonder

grate at its surface

with diamond sharp teeth.

Digging in

Leaving permanent marks.

In defiance the tree stretches,


and moves skyward.

Its roots reach around rocky obstacles

Firmly anchoring itself the earth.

Exerting strength and desire.

Forcing its viability

to grow into yet another season.

Roots that are deeply implanted

into uninviting


and inhospitable soil

Forcefully create a home.

And the tree proclaims:

“I am a tree

I am from the earth

Neither rain,




nor cold

will supplant my desire to leave

I remain where I belong”

Ross Rosenberg, 1996

By Ross Rosenberg, M.Ed, LCPC, CADC, CSAT
PsychotherapistAuthorEducatorExpert Witness

For more information visit: Self-Love Recovery Institute

Ross Rosenberg

Ross Rosenberg, M.Ed., LCPC, CADC, CSAT, is an international codependency, narcissism, trauma, and sex& love addictions expert who provides psychotherapy, training and consultation services. Ross is a keynote speaker and trainer, presenting in 27 states and 3 countries. He owns Advanced Clinical Trainers and Clinical Care Consultants, an Arlington Heights IL counseling center. He wrote the best-selling book, "The Human Magnet Syndrome: Why We Love People Who Hurt Us." Ross’s YouTube channel contains 75 instructional/educational videos, which have over 2.6 million views and amassed 24,000 subscribers. He has been on ABC Late Night, a ABC "Swiped" documentary, Fox News and WGN News. His work has been featured in the Chicago Tribune & Publishers Weekly and he blogs for The Huffington Post, &

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