Right now I have 3 orchids blooming and 2 more budding and soon to bloom. I remember hearing and reading about how difficult orchids are to grow, but with benign neglect and the southern sunlight, mine are thriving. For years my vision for my front bed along my driveway has been a show of hens and chicks of many kinds and colors amid a rocky landscape. I have pulled out the tulips in the bed many times and the damn things keep coming back. Guess what? I have decided that the tulips are beautiful and I would miss them terribly if they were not greeting me each spring. In spite of my best efforts to kill them, they present themselves each spring and I have grown to love their determination to win me over. Both my orchids and tulips are not coaxed into blooming, they just do.
Like with my flowers, I have found that a hands off approach to the people I love seems to be the best way for me to witness their uniqueness and beauty. I can stop coaxing, manipulating, begging, giving advice and be amazed at the beauty of the human spirit. Doing less and staying out of the way allows others to bloom in their own way and at their own pace. My hands are not for molding, they are for holding others with love. I don’t always remember this, but this is my intent and I am making progress. People bloom when they are ready and nothing I do can change that fact.
But what about my relationship with myself? Surely letting myself just “be” would result in me becoming a nasty and mean fat blob, smoking up a storm and guzzling liquor every Saturday night. Without will power, vigilance and my inner drill Sargent what would I do? Would I even get off the couch? Getting older gives me a longer history to learn from and decide if more of the same is likely to encourage me to grow and bloom. My inner Drill Sargent may get me to follow orders for a bit, but when her back is turned I may be reading, crocheting, or walking. No marching when I am off duty! Wait a minute! I don’t even remember signing up for the “I’m not good enough, try harder!” platoon, but I must have got drafted in my childhood. So hind sight is 20/20 and going forward I can choose to do less and play more, to be less fearful and explore more and to love myself as I am and as I grow. I take lots of photos of flowers so perhaps my intuition is telling me that I can bloom too.
The next time you see a bouquet of flowers, especially one you have bought or grown for yourself take time to appreciate each bloom. Give each flower the gift of your attention and awe. Do the same for yourself!