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  • Writer's pictureAmanda Hoock

To Flourish or To Fold

For a flower to exhibit its beautiful appearance and pleasant scent, they require nourishment from natural resources, such as water and sunlight. Although it doesn't stop there, they require more than those natural resources, they must also be tended to on a regular basis to make certain the small seedling grows and transforms into a magnificent flower. If this specific step isn’t enlisted the plant will disappear. Unfortunately, there is a culprit, one who will take over the space that the flower already inhabits. It wants as much space as it is able to consume and use for its own growth and expansion. If this threat is able to accomplish what it sets out to do, the beautiful flower may never reach it's potential and we will lack the flower’s beauty in our world. An aroma and aesthetic presence that provides comfort in sad times and joy in happy times. The flowers that fill a funeral home when a precious soul passes and the excitement of receiving a breathtaking flower from someone who loves you. This threat is not necessarily strong, unless it is allowed to grow deep roots, which may happen when it is permitted to attach and spread. The longer it is allowed to infiltrate the space of the flower, it becomes more powerful and the more care the flower will need to climb out of the grips of the threat.

Have you noticed there is a lot of work put into gardening? It feels as though every weekend and free moment during the warm months you have to be out in the garden removing the weeds that continuously pop up. Weeds do not need to be cared for like flowers, they continue to grow and expand even when they are being pulled out over and over again. Weeds multiply quickly in the pursuit to take over as much ground as possible and do the work they are meant to do. If no one is paying attention it takes over the space the flower occupies resulting in the demise of the flower. The weed is not worried for the flower that it destroys, it doesn’t care, it has a job to do.

If the flower is tended to often and the weeds are consistently removed, eventually the weeds become weaker and the flower is able to become its beautiful expressive self. Although the flower can never be left alone after it stretches and becomes its full self, the tending will need to continue. This may not need to happen as much as in the beginning when surrounded by weeds, but will need to be taken care of to make sure the weeds do not come back to snuff out the flower.

Importantly, weeds are necessary, they help the flowers to grow even stronger by building and protecting the soil, as well as other benefits. We do not want to completely eliminate the weeds. We want to build up the flower to be able to protect itself and remove the threat. Empowering the flower by caring for it will give the flower it’s best opportunity for growth and transformation into the beautiful specimen that it is meant to become.

Nature may be used in many ways to give us insight for how to deal with our own life. This flower metaphor was offered as an illustration to describe the importance of providing special attention to our own self-care so that we are able to blossom. A flower’s ability to prosper is dependent on the consistent removal of weeds. Similarly to us, we have to clear away the influences in our lives such as the beliefs, expectations and judgments that others inflict upon us that may hinder our potential. Everyone has their own life they are leading and in many cases will unintentionally take over our lives (sometimes intentionally) in the pursuit of their own development. For that reason, remember it is necessary to continue the self-care process even after the hard work has been done. Just like the flower that cannot be ignored after removing the weeds, for the weeds may return, we cannot stop the self-care process after we believe we have reached an optimal position. We require the continuous cleansing of any forces that keep us stuck or aid in our withering, whether these influences are intentional or unintentional.

As described in the flower story, the flower does not want the weeds to be completely destroyed because they help them to grow. In parallel, we do not want others to be removed from our lives, because we grow from our social connections, we learn a great deal from each other. What we want is to be cautious of the beliefs and expectations of others that influence us and prohibit our natural Self from shining through and growing. The Self who will bring beauty to the world. When we neglect our own care, we subject ourselves to be taken over. On the contrary, when we do take care of ourselves, when we tend to our feelings, understand our beliefs and expectations, allow ourselves to grow and expand, we are able to reach further than we have ever imagined.

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