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“Bloom where you are planted.”
This phrase translated into Portuguese is: “Floresça onde está plantado.”
It’s a saying credited to the Bishop of Geneva, San Francisco de Sales, and it relates to the fact that travel at that time was difficult, and most people remained all their lives in the place where they were born.
Since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, people have move around the globe with ease, travel has increased exponentially with the development of technology, and the world has become a global village.
Does the expression no longer make sense?
Or does it, instead, take on another meaning?
Is it possible that it has the color palette that one assigns to it? We all wear special “glasses” that reveal to us the world in which we paint it. Our sensitivity, understanding, and experiences shape us and contribute to our perception of the universe that surrounds us.
The phrase is powerful, simple, and profound. It means choosing to be the best of ourselves, whatever the conditions of the environment we are in.
In other words, our inner reality has the capacity to adapt to external constraints and through this process—achieve what it was meant to.
Just as rocks do not hold water from the river on its way to the sea, we can still conduct our thoughts, own our actions, and ultimately shape our destiny.
How can we do that when the external world seems harsh?
By stopping to reflect on our true nature.
By looking inside ourselves, and listening to our inner voice.
By embracing our imperfections—with courage.
After all, the only person who has been in our life and will stay forever is ourselves. For that reason alone, it would be worthy of us to do the best we can for her.
Timothy Shriver, an American Disability Rights activist and President of Special Olympics, wrote:
“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.”
But where do we find the strength to discover courage when we feel discouraged, mired in problems, stuck in the circumstances of life, or unsure about the future?
Perhaps we can recall that particularly difficult moment that we survived. If we allow our minds to travel to that precise moment and stay there for a while, can we recall the pain?
And yet, it remains the past—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.
Can we bring that strength back with us to the present moment, knowing that we always had the courage to keep going?
Can we ask ourselves:
>> What was the motivation that led me through that struggle?
>> What were the actions I took to get out of the it?
>> What were my strengths?
>> What lessons did I learn from that experience?
>> How did I feel when I overcame this obstacle?
Can we think of all the happy moments we have lived after suffering?
We were responsible for the change.
We have the capacity, courage, and determination to paint our futures bright with vivid colors. We already have.
And we can do it again, it all depends on us, our attitude, and our will—not the circumstances that surround us.
So—bloom where you are planted!