Friday, August 24, 2018

A Second Blooming

I often struggle with becoming unstuck.
I read in a book about grief that one must guard against becoming stuck in one stage of grief.
Life is the same way.
One must guard against becoming stuck in one stage of life or another.

I have a wise and wonderful advisor and friend in my life.
She recently asked me where I was in my grief journey.
As I often do, instead of directly answering the question, I told a story.
I also showed her a photo to go with my story.  

The photo was of my amazing daisy plant.  It has bloomed itself crazy this year.

When the daisy was blooming at its very finest, a friend came by to spend the afternoon on my back deck visiting.  She asked just what I had done to produce such a beautiful plant.  Honestly, I just planted it in the right location for sunlight and drainage, and I then watered it.  For several weeks, I enjoyed the positive comments that came my way because of Miss Daisy’s performance.

Then one day, Miss Daisy didn’t bloom anymore.

I just could not leave that beautiful plant in her current state.
My Daisy needed a hair cut.
July’s appearance had been stunning,
but by mid-August she just was not looking quite the same.
I knew she looked tired, spent, and all dried up, but
I knew my dear Daisy was not through blooming.

She might not bloom as gloriously as she had earlier, but she was not dead yet!

Sure enough, as I began to clip away at the blooms that were no longer beautiful,
hidden beneath the spent blossoms were
 new buds just waiting to have their chance
 to show up and  bloom in the sun.
The new buds would never see the sunshine, 
nor would they have the room to bloom again
 if I had not
 cut off the remains of the blooming which had already occurred.

After I related this gardening story to my wise and wonderful friend, I said, 
“Let me tie all this together,” 
  You did ask me a question about where I was in my grief journey.
The answer is:
I’m growing.
I’ve learned some very important lessons in trying to remain unstuck.

In order to grow, 
to bloom, 
to not become stuck in grief 
or in other areas of my life which are stuck in the past,
where I have carried unrealistic expectations,
I too must remove those things from my life which no longer bear fruit.

 Holding on to outdated beliefs about how life should be,
practicing old habits that are not productive,
hanging on to things that were once in their glory in my life,
prevent me from moving forward in life.

As every good gardener knows, time in the garden is not just spent on planting.
Time must be spent on deadheading also.
Get rid of the spent blooms.
Give the plant a chance to bloom again.

Real life deadheading is never fun.
It hurts when we experience parts of our lives being pruned and cut back.
We feel as if we have been shorn when we are going through such an experience,
but in the end,
we bloom again when we allow all the dross to be cut away.