Updated: Dec 14, 2020
I have often used the metaphor that we, humans, are like flowers. That is, we are living beings just as flowers are; we need nourishment to survive, we grow physically (for humans, we also grow spiritually), and we reproduce. Like flowers, we also wilt (so to speak), suffer, struggle, and die. And just as flowers, we are also all different. We grow at different paces and to different heights. We thrive in some environments while others are poison to our being. We come in many varieties of colours, shapes, sizes, and textures. We really are flowers.
Our differences do not make us less worthy, or uglier than the other, though. It also does not mean that if one prefers daisies to say lilies, that lilies are now unimportant. For we all have something to offer, something to give to society, to our communities and to ourselves.
So why be so hard on oneself for not thriving in an environment that does not support our needs, nor our ability to grow into our best selves? Why dislike the differences we have, and dismiss the gifts we have to offer? We never see flowers hating themselves or each other. They just are, because that is what they are born to be. They are flowers just we are humans. And to be the human we are meant to be, perhaps we should look at flowers, for they have much to teach.
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We are flowers. We begin our lives as a seed that is planted into the ground. Slowly, we crack open from the seed, and our roots begin to cement our being into the dirt. Next our stem begins to claw through dirt; sucking in whatever nutrients and water we can find, which we desperately need for this seemingly endless journey through the dark and muddy ground. It’s a long journey toward the light and it’s a lonely one. It sometimes feels hopeless and we think of giving up, we just want to quit, to shrivel up, because what is the point of pushing through dirt just for a little light? But that is not in our nature, to quit, because we are flowers.
We keep going, we keep growing. Our roots keep digging deeper, keep getting stronger, solidifying our stance in the ground, while our stems keep striving for that light, to become what we are destined to be. We are told that our function will bring beauty to the world. We are told that we must create and procreate. We are told that we have the ability to assist others with their survival and with their growth. We are taught that we are all important and have a great gift to give the world. We are flowers, after all, and so we keep moving, we keep striving, we persist in our growth.
One day, when it seems almost impossible, we break free; out of the darkness and into the light. Now we can be what we are born to be. But the journey is not over, and we still have a long way to go, as our stems keep growing up toward the much-needed light. Leaves now form and we begin to take our shape. Water flows through our veins. Our roots are getting firmer and stronger while we strive on, and taller we become. Grander, fuller, more whole, our stem is now our core and our leaves stretch out taking in all it can, while working toward creating the flower we have been taught our whole lives to become. But not all is easy, and not all is well.
There are bad times too. Strong winds try to break us down, hurting us with their lashes. Harsh heat steals our nourishment, sometimes leaving us to starve. Heavy rains beat us down and drown our cries. More brutal than the elements which we must, too, endure: the bugs and the weeds that tear our leaves, rip our roots out, break down our stems. All while we watch our brothers and sisters killed in desperate despair. Such is our life, for we are flowers.
Not all is lost, though, for many, (though not enough), we thrive and become what we are meant to be: the lushes, lovely plants of our destiny, and all a variety. Some of us have many flowers, some of us have few. Some of us have enticing scents; some grow tall while others are short and stout. Some of us cover our stems with thorns, while some of us rarely bloom. A kaleidoscope of life opens up before our eyes and we are awed in its mystery and authenticity. But we are not just beautiful, and not just to be looked at with judgment. We are a benefit to society. We give air to help you breathe, we give food to keep you nourished, we help reproduce your food for you to survive, we provide shelter, and we offer love through it all. Flowers, you see, are selfless. They take what they need and give what they have for the benefit of others. Never asking for more than they need in return. That’s what being a flower is.
But just before we show our colourful petals for the world to see, and just before we open our hearts, before we bloom, our buds must stay closed for a while. This is an important part in our becoming, as we need to take a look within to prepare ourselves for the unknown, to realise who we are. And when we do finally blossom and bloom, we are magnificent in all our glorious scent, our intricate details, with our array of colourful petals, and our variation within our kind. It’s also when we open up, we begin to see the world filled with diversity, a million scents, sounds, textures and tastes. It is now that we are what we have been working so hard to become. We are now flowers.
And while we finally start to experience our true existence and give the gifts we were meant to share; new bugs come into our anthers and take some sweet honey to feed their bellies. Others take our pollen to spread more of ourselves around the world. Some even come to hide, or rest, or entice their prey, using our petals, our stems, and our scents to their advantage. They are not using us, just benefiting from the gifts we have to offer. Life is rather grand as a flower. We are content and free. We are living to our purpose. We are loved and we love.
We still go through the struggles of battling the elements and fighting the demons. That never ends and never changes. But we still we keep growing, still we keep surviving, still we keep thriving, still we keep striving. Still we keep giving and sharing, still we keep providing, still we keep loving. And one day, we will wilt and die. But for now, we enjoy the pleasures we have and the fruits we give, because we are flowers.
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