“Bloom where you are planted”, which translated into Portuguese is something like: “Floresça onde está plantado” is a phrase credited to the Bishop of Geneva, San Francisco de Sales (1567-1622) and which was popularized by Mary Engelbreit, although many see the meaning of the phrase mirrored in several verses of the Bible, still related to the fact that travel at the time was very difficult, which meant that most people stayed all their lives in the place where they were born.
However, especially since the Industrial Revolution, the ease of movement of people has increased exponentially and with the development of technology, the world has become a global village.
Does the expression no longer make sense? Or does it take on another meaning? Or is it even that it has the personal color palette that each one assigns to it? Because we all have special “glasses” that show us the world with the colors we paint it with. Our sensitivity, our understanding, the experiences that we have accumulated and shaped us to be who we are in the present moment, all contribute to our perception of the universe that surrounds us.
For me, the phrase is extremely powerful, simple and profound. For me it means getting the best out of us, whatever the conditions of the environment we are in. In other words, the interior has the capacity to adapt to external constraints and, through this process, achieve its objectives. Just as rocks do not hold water from the river on its way to the sea. We can conduct our thoughts, we own our actions, we shape our destiny. How?
Stopping to reflect on our true selves. Looking inside us, listening to our inner voice. Embracing our imperfections. With courage. It is worth making the effort. After all, the only person who has been in our life and will stay forever and ever is ourselves. Even for that reason alone, it would be worthy of us doing the best we could for her.
Timothy Shriver, an American Disability Rights activist and President of Special Olympics since 1996, wrote in his book “Fully Alive: Discovering What Matters Most”, in a chapter where he talks about the special Olympic athletes he works with: “If we are going to pursue our dreams, if we are going to muster the grit and optimism necessary to bring those dreams to life, we need to silence the voices in our heads, and around us that tell us not to try.” (Shriver 2014: 196)
Ok, but where do we find the strength to find that hidden courage when we feel discouraged, mired in problems, stuck in the circumstances of life, unsure about the future?
In ourselves. Looking back there until we find that particularly difficult moment that we lived. Focusing on that moment and the pain we felt.
We will travel to that precise moment and stay there for a while reminding the details.
Still hurts? It’s possible. It was remarkable.
Was. It is no longer. It is past. It is an obstacle overcome. It is a life experience that we have survived. And now, with the distance that time provides, it seems less violent, softened.
We can begin to make our way back to the present time, bringing with us the strength to know that, somehow, we had the courage to keep going.
And as we walk, we answer these questions:
– What was the motivation that led me to fight the situation?
– What were the actions I took to get out of the situation?
– What strengths did I use?
– What lessons did I learn from that experience?
– How did I feel when I overcame this obstacle?
Now think of all the happy moments you have lived after that. With the awareness that you were responsible for the change. Because you have the capacity, courage and determination to paint your future with bright and happy colors. You already did. You can do it again, now more easily because you recognize that it just depends on you, your attitude, your will. Not the circumstances around you. So … bloom where you are planted!
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