With April halfway gone, it is easy to notice the abundance of flowers. They are everywhere! Flowers signal the rebirth of spring and are often used to symbolize hope and recovery. They encourage us feel good and, if we take the time to stop, their scent can take us back through time to happier moments of the distant past. Their endless parade of beauty and elegance signifies the renewal of life that comes as cold mornings give way to warm afternoons.
The flowers of spring never fail to remind me of a quote recently used by a guest of Brookhaven Retreat: “A flower does not think of competing to the flower next to it, it just blooms.” While this quote is not attributed to any particular author, it has been used many times and will continue to be a favorite for many years because it speaks to the soul.
A flower is a beautiful natural creation. It does not focus on being more beautiful than the flower next to it. Instead, it focuses its energy on blooming. The flower does not self-judge nor is it jealous. The flower simply exists; secure in the form it presently holds. A tulip stands just as proud by a rose as when growing next to a dandelion and the dandelion, feeling no shame, continues to bloom long after the tulip has wilted.
If we were to imitate the flower in our own self-confidence, we would be less inclined to subject ourselves to self-judging behaviors that can lead to feelings of inferiority, anxiety, depression, and guilt. A positive outlook on our selves leads to improved mental health and an overall sense of self-worth. Remember, we each have our own unique beauty and have no need for comparison. As Theodore Roosevelt once phrased so perfectly, “Comparison is the thief of joy.”
Here’s an idea: Today, just bloom.