I won a competition with a piece of writing I submitted. The writing prompt was ‘Where are you blooming?’
“From my roots, I have grown. At times, the branches I have chosen have been gnarled and twisted, other times they’ve taken me to unimaginable heights, yet it is from each and every ugly branch in equal measure to every beautiful branch that has found me here. Just here, sitting comfortably in the blossom, surrounded by the softness, the calmness, the excitement of endings and beginnings which have neither beginning nor end.
It is here, with all the wrong turns that have been right turnings and the ups that have also been downs, that my wisdom has grown and now I use that wisdom. I share what I know, what I’ve learned and what I’ve experienced to light the way for others.
It may be a friend who is struggling with her child; I guide her not towards books or parenting groups but to see how wonderful she is, how great a mum. I show her the beauty that resides in her by congratulating her on everything she’s doing so right, so well, because I know that when she feels good about herself, she’ll believe that she can.
To a friend that has to write an autobiography for college yet doesn’t have an ounce of self-belief. I tell her everything good I see in her, all that she has achieved, where she has strength, when she has fought and why she is my friend and then she writes and little by little, she believes.
The colleague whose boyfriend has left her, I share with her how much she has to offer to herself, how she doesn’t need to think it’s because of something she did; doesn’t need to convince herself she can’t live without him; I give her permission to see she is beautiful inside and out, I show her how to fall in love with herself.
To my Dad, who believes that his body is weakening, I show him how to have strength once more. No longer physical strength but strength of mind, of character. To listen to his body and go with the changes until he finds himself to be stronger than when he was a young man.
To my elderly friend, bogged with illness, death coming ever closer. I gather thoughts, memories and words of love from friends and family which I share with him, to inspire him to live his final years happy, knowing he is very much loved by all.
To myself, I embrace the qualities that have grown over the years to make me wise and giving; to show others what love really is. That loving the self is the only place to begin and the only place to end.
Why do I do this?
Because I can’t do anything else. Because all around me I see the beauty in each and every person I meet and because something deep inside of me wants them to see it too. Because my need to see someone’s personal winter become their spring is overwhelming and because empowering others to grow and blossom, empowers me to blossom and grow.
Like the first bloom of spring, I empower.
We do not bloom; we are the bloom.