Bloom where you’re planted? I call malarky.
I’ve been going through a difficult season in my life that I just can’t seem to shake. As an enneagram 3, when I want something to change, I make it happen. I set goals, plan, aspire, take charge. And I kick ass while doing it.
This is all fine and good, but sometimes situations are out of your control. You can set all the goals, outline all the plans, aspire for change, you name it. But sometimes it just doesn’t work.
Throughout this season, I’ve seen the phrase “bloom where you’re planted” over and over – from social media to retail stores. At first, I thought it was a sign from God to change my attitude and be grateful for what I have. I tried to look on the bright side, note one thing I’m thankful for every day, take stock of all my blessings, adjust my attitude and go full force at making this work. I’ve done all the things. But every time I feel like I’m being kicked while I’m down, that same phrase haunts me. It makes me feel like the reason I’m not succeeding – despite all my efforts – is my own fault. I just need to try harder. I just need a more positive attitude. I just need to be more thankful. I need to, I need to, I need to….
But then I had a revelation.
During the World Series, the commentators kept speaking of all the new players the Atlanta Braves had acquired during the season. Some were doing well at their previous teams, but some weren’t. The most remarkable story of them all was Jorge Soler. This season, he had been an average performer in his previous organization. But then he was traded to the Braves, where he absolutely grew into his own and succeeded. In the end, he was named the World Series MVP.
After seeing his story unfold in front of me, I thought of several friends who had been through unexpected hard times and how they came out on top. A few of them walked through infertility and now have beautiful families. Others had been laid off, then gone on to open highly successful businesses or changed their careers for the better. No amount of positive attitude or mind shift could have given them babies or saved their jobs. They were meant for so much more than the current situation they were undergoing.
So, what does this mean?
You aren’t going to bloom in every situation. At times, you’ll be in the germination phase. You’ll learn, grow, and take it all in, so you can one day bloom again. Just as the earth has four seasons, your life has periods of lively springtime and winter dormancy.
But keep in mind as you’re going through those winter months, there’s still beauty to behold and excitement to be had. Even though parts of my life are currently sucking, there’s still so many blessings that have been outpoured on me, and I’m thankful for them every day. I try to compartmentalize the negatives to keep from overshadowing the positives. It’s like appreciating Christmas or New Year’s during the dreary winter months.
So, keep your head up and understand it’s okay if you aren’t blooming right now. Sometimes you just have to germinate.
Article by Emily Arnold
Emily Arnold is the communications manager for a global tech company. You can find her on the weekends playing fetch with her goldendoodle or visiting U.S. national parks with her husband.
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