I think plants are so cool!!! (I bet this is the dorkiest blog introduction you’ve ever seen; you’re welcome.) But really, I am fascinated by the biological and ecological composition of the natural world around me because, to me, it shows the work of the greatest artist there is. Plants can grow in the weirdest, least suspectable places and thrive. Every little thing about them has to work and be made just so in order for them to survive. This leads me to believe that there are great lessons we can learn from these little organisms.
For instance, let’s look at this little succulent. It is literally growing with a little bit of dirt and moss in a pig-shaped ceramic pot. It is lucky if we water it the two times of month we are supposed to. Yet it is STILL GROWING. But there is an important component to realize here. There are a few dead leaves at the base of the plant but that didn’t stop it from flourishing.
So why do I say all of this? Why does this plant have anything to do with your busy, important life? Here’s what it taught me about authenticity and what it can teach you:
- Growth is natural and healthy.
When we take a step back and examine the person that we are, we hope and pray only to find successful qualities. But what we often find are things that we feel discouraged about and are lacking in. This thought process can drag our little metaphorical plants down real quick.
Instead, I choose to redirect this thought process and look at these discouragements as areas to transform in. If I see that my diet is giving me no energy and leaving me to feel down about myself, I will choose to see this thought as inspiration, not discouragement. If I choose to make changes to eat a healthier, more balanced diet, I will be growing into a better version of me! Growth will never occur unless we first become at peace with the areas that we struggle in.
Just like this plant, people are not meant to stay stagnant. Our whole lives we are growing in one way or another. Once we accept those areas in which we can grow as healthy and natural, we will often say goodbye to the heartache that the idea of perfection places on us.
- I can grow from “dead leaves”.
We all have to start from somewhere and everyone’s somewheres are different. These somewheres, no matter who you are, are also just as messy. We all have “dead leaves” that we have experienced in our lives that we wish weren’t there. I have personally seen many people in my life grow beautiful new traits from the unhealthy ones left behind and the transformation is unbelievable.
Growth insists that we rise above the ugliness that was before and hold ourselves to a higher standard. Growth allowed this little succulent to grow into a beautiful, vibrant plant who brings joy to its caretaker. And growth will do the same thing for us if we can just accept the “dead leaves” and say adios to them while shooting up into the air.
- Authenticity allows you to OWN your growth.
So when I admit that I am growing in my life, I am also admitting that I have flaws that bring out the negatives in me? I am basically telling people that I have stuff wrong with me?
When we recognize the idea of authenticity in this inner dialog, we realize that we are actually being very brave creatures. Authenticity calls us to admit our setbacks in order to a)allow others to realize that you are being real with them and b) so that we can let growth fill the place of discouragement that authenticity scared out. Growth is something to be proud of and it is awesome to own it because it will allow people to see the journey it takes you on. And isn’t life all about the journey? Or as my favorite song from my younger day’s would say, it’s all about the climb.
Need Refresher on Authenticity?: Cultivating Authenticity in a World that Says Otherwise
As we journey on together, let’s vow to make a goal of growth in the next week. Pick one tiny area to grow in. Make an action plan. Stick to it for a week. Note the differences you see in yourself physically, emotionally, and mentally. And I promise you won’t be disappointed. Let’s all be like this little succulent.
Ways to be accountable in this journey:
- Tell a friend: there is great power in verbalizing a goal and action plan you create to someone you trust. They will push you to uphold it and you will feel inclined to stay true to your word.
- Sticky Notes: Write your goal on many sticky notes. Stick them on your mirror, your planner, your computer, somewhere in your car. Anywhere that you will see that reminder throughout the day.
- Comment: Leave a comment with your goal and action plan if you are feeling bold. There is nothing like a little community backing.
Whatever you choose to do, be bold, be consistent, and be proud of the person you are. Feel free to Pin this post to your Pinterest