Bloom Where You are Planted

This entry is part 1 of 5 in the series When Bad Things Happen

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I think we’ve all wished that our lives were just a little easier. Perhaps, we want just a little more money to ease the strain or maybe, we’d love a whole new life renewal. Plenty of times, in the midst of my worst Fibromyalgia bouts, I’ve wished I could get a whole body transplant.

Sometimes the difficulties and stresses of everyday life seem pretty harsh. On the worst days, it feels like carrying a piano through the mud. At those times, I think it’s somewhat natural to fantasize about how things could (or should) be.

If only… The things I could do if I only had… Yes, if we all had our way, we all be billionaire supermodel astronauts who cure cancer in our free time.

Still, sometimes the things we want in life aren’t necessarily in our best interest long term.  Easy doesn’t help us grow or move forward. Moreover, often the greatest lessons in life are learnt in dark and difficult places.

The really interesting thing is that when we look at our life in retrospect, we often see that what we didn’t want, what we resisted, and what caused us the most pain was actually a boon in disguise. An important crossroads which created a shift in the way we see our world or an opening to an opportunity which led to something greater than we ever could have imagined. Such experiences bring about life changing moments.

Life seems to provide opportunities that we need to grow, learn about ourselves, and to ultimately lead a content filled life. The problem is that we often judge these experiences negatively or get stuck believing that the experience somehow defines us as a human being so it takes us a while to open to that next step.

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Personally, I think “bad things” happen for two reasons. First, they provide an opportunity to grow compassion (for ourselves and for others). As we experience abuse, sickness, poverty, or whatever we can now relate in a more compassionate way. Moreover, as we accept that these experiences happened but don’t define us, we are able to see ourselves in a more positive and loving way.

Secondly, just as pain draws our attention to a physical injury, life provides certain experiences in order to draw attention to past issues that need healing or particular pathways that will bring us closer to true happiness. These experiences could be asking us to address deficiencies such as ill-used talents or finding purpose in life. They could also be about healing unresolved issues.

In any case, it would seem that the old adage “Bloom where you are planted” makes a lot of sense. Whether we like it or not life will provide “opportunities”. If we open to them (even a little) life can become so much more than we ever thought possible.

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About The Author

Tami Brady

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