I remember a time early in my youth and into my 20's when I would stop all contact with anyone who hurt my feelings. I could give you multiple examples of times I cut someone out of my life for a percieved infraction on my part. I would literally feel the thorn, and lop the flower off the stem of the plant in my relationships. If someone pricked me, I would prick them back harder or ignore them altogether. Before long all that remained were stems with thorns around me, no flowers or beauty. I wondered if there were any "nice" people on this earth. The problem seemed to be that everyone in the world was dangerous. I hid in my own little shell, with thorns pointed out so no one would "bother" me. The problem is that I soon became lonely and dissatisfied with my life. What to do? I had a choice, I could stay isolated or I could try to let someone into my shell. That was a defining moment for me. I decided to stay planted where I was and to let the fertilizer (sh**) of life, nurture my weakened roots and flowerless thorny stems. I learned to trust someone, she was safe, and she watered my dry soil (spirit). A rose bloomed in the space between us. I saw the beauty of my own spirit through her eyes, for I couldn't see it in myself yet. As I grew, I became aware of the significance of this gift, the space between people is sacred and to be cherished. I began to make friends, even the annoying Daisy and Petunia became my friends. No one could stop me from being all I was meant to be, except for me. I could choose to bloom where I was planted. For you the reader, hear this; No one can stop you from growing with out your consent.
The rose, being it's authentic self, contributes to the appeal of a beautiful garden complete with the Daisy, Petunia, and many other types of flowers, bushes, and trees. The Rose fits in a bigger picture, it has meaning and purpose just the way it is. Journeying to Abundant Life is not about getting material things, it is about being a human as authentically and honestly as you can. It is about intentionally serving people around you and allowing yourself to be served when you are weary. It is being grateful for whatever happens in a day. It is a Journey to Abundant Life.
written by Teresa Maples MS LMHC CSAT whose mission it is to help families strenghten their relationships by growing into a Journey to Abundant Life.