I have a wonderful hanging plant I’ve affectionately named *Audrey. When she blooms, she perfumes the air with her beautiful citrus-scented flowers. As you can tell, it makes me very happy. So you can imagine my disdain when she all but died over recital weekend (exactly one month ago). It was extremely hot out & I wasn’t home to give her extra water. And it showed. She shriveled up & turned brown. I was devastated. She was almost gone.
I spent some time pulling out the dead parts. I had to remove all but her roots. I’ve been faithfully watering her every day (sometimes twice a day) to bring life back to her. I’m happy to report that she’s growing back! No blossoms yet but she’s very green & I find new little shoots every day! Yay! Maybe I’ll post a picture when she starts to bloom so you can see her beauty.
I have a bird feeder & these birds like to sit next to Audrey & hang out. It’s all fun & games until I noticed they’ve been dropping their food into her soil. Within a few days, I’m finding random, light green leaves. So right before I water her, I’m spending a few moments pulling out these tiny sprouts from other various seeds. Obviously, they’re very shallow so it’s easy to rid her of them.
Today, I had a light bulb thought…
I realized how cultivating Audrey has been a metaphor for my life.
I’ve been left for dead, deserted, & discarded. Rather than showing my true colors, I’ve been withered, wilted, & wrung out. I had to break off all of my dead pieces in order to survive. When I was finished, it was just me & my roots. No leaves to shelter me from the storms. No flowers to soak up the warm sun. I was completely bare, exposed to the elements. I had nothing to give to others. When everyone else was growing up tall & blooming in their life, my roots went deeper into the soil. I was tempted to just end it all, but I opted for digging my heels in & focusing on healing myself. Slowly but surely, I’m coming back.
Others have claimed they tried to help. Like the birds, they’ve dropped their shallow advice into my life & have quickly flown away. I was something on their list they needed to check off, their “good deed” of the day. I was hurt by their unsympathetic actions & indifference. I learned to swiftly discard their callousness. I’m not going to let their half-ass attempts try to take credit for any growth in my life. I am determined to grow back stronger than before, even if I do it alone.
It’s been a long time. I’m sure others thought I was gone if they even gave me a second thought. But I’m still here. And as cliché as it sounds, this time around is different for me. I’m drawing up boundaries with others. I will not cultivate their insensitivity or wishy-washy behavior. I would rather spend the time removing people from my life versus growing with them. All they’re doing is stealing my hard-earned “nutrients”, my life blood, for their benefit. They are draining me of my precious commodities. They are shooting up fast all around me because their roots are shallow. When the storm comes, they’re nowhere to be found.
Looking at me, you might only see a few dark green leaves on small sprouts, but don’t let that fool you. You’ll notice immediately I’m different from the others. It may not look like much, but believe me, I’m here for the long haul.
* Get it? Little Shop of Horrors? I also have a plant named Robert….Robert Plant? Is this thing on? 😉
EDIT: Here’s Audrey!