It's a chilly, rainy, dark and bleak, early Spring Monday...the kind of day that makes me want to crawl back into bed, pull the covers up over my head and hibernate until the sun comes out again. That, however, is not an option. There's a family to be cared for, chores to be done, a dog to let in and out endless times during the day, and, yes, even a blog post that needs to be written because I have neglected my blog for too many weeks already.
Aside from all the "physical" stuff on my To Do list this week, there are the emotional worries and concerns that I'm wrestling with...the psychological chores that are, unfortunately, a regular occurrence in life. Those are the chores that I really want to hide from when the urge to burrow into my bed arises. Unfortunately, when you get right down to it, while they're not explicitly written down on a list, those are the most important chores of all that I have to do. Those psychological chores carry with them the precise challenges that I need to encourage me to grow, bend, change...and learn.
Bloom where you're planted. I stumbled upon that phrase many years ago, at a time when I was going through a particularly difficult period in my life. I was whining the typical "why me" complaints, holding frequent pity parties for myself, and wearing lots of black because I was grieving all that I thought I had lost. Then out of the blue one day, I saw this phrase - Bloom Where You're Planted. It stopped me in my tracks.
I suddenly thought of beautiful Spring flowers - crocuses, daffodils, hyacinths - all waving in a warm, gentle breeze. They bloom where they're planted. They sit in the ground all winter and then manage to pull, as if by magic, all the nutrients and water out of the dirt that surrounds them (what we gardeners call "soil") to create gorgeous flowers. It made me wonder if I could do the same.
Could I bloom where I was planted? Could I, somehow, pull from the dirt that surrounded me, all that I needed to actually bloom? Could it be that I had been "planted" where I was, in the midst of all that "dirt", for a reason? The answers, of course, were: Yes, You bet, and Absolutely.
Life does get dirty now and then. We find ourselves in situations that are uncomfortable, unpleasant, and downright depressing. Some are the results and consequences of our own decisions and actions...or lack thereof. Some are thrust upon us seemingly out of nowhere. It's not very nice. It's not fun. Sometimes it positively sucks. But our job is to search for the good stuff, pull it out of all the dirt around us, and bloom...not just survive, mind you, not just grow, but bloom.
It's hard work, this blooming thing. It takes courage, strength, fortitude, energy, determination, persistence, patience, and faith - faith in life and its processes, faith in God, and, perhaps the most difficult of all, faith in ourselves and our ability to learn and grow and change. We must believe in our own inherent value and goodness and in the value and goodness of those around us, even when they're behaving like pinheads, to put it mildly. We must shift our perspective, look for new angles, different views, new avenues forward. We must be open to new and different ideas. Read. Listen. Look. Notice.
We must be willing to try and possibly, fail...and try again. Learning and changing is not always a piece of cake and we won't always get it right the first time. That's ok. Pick yourself up, brush off the dirt and try again, perhaps a little differently this time around. Just don't give up. Know that each situation holds both trials and victories. To bloom we've got to move past the trials and get to the good stuff. There are gems in all the dirt that's surrounding us. Find them, learn from them, treasure them, move forward, and keep going.
Never forget that, throughout our lives, we are all a work in progress. It ain't over till it's over and, as long as we're breathing, it ain't over. Quit whining and wishing you were in a different place. Instead, take a long and careful look at where you are and bloom where you're planted.