I’m a big believer in flowers. Picking up a $5 or $10 bouquet… spending time potting plants on a Saturday. I think they bring you a little bit of joy in that bunch of color and sweet smells, and I’ve read about how good gardening is for you. But in my struggle to find the perfect balance of sunlight and water in a city apartment for my various plant pets, I believe in something else about flowers too. Flowers know exactly how to gently tell you what they need, and when they receive it, they stand a little taller, and are a little brighter. It made me wonder, what can people learn from flowers about asking for what they need?
In the past week, I’ve had a number of different situations where I’ve had to ask for what I need, and noticed how hard it was. After spending Monday night sleeping curled up on a train seat (that was 5 inches too short), I had to decline a few social commitments I’d made because what I really needed was to go home, cook a good dinner, and curl up early. At work, I had to openely and honestly express thoughts about my role and my ideas for the future. And in love, the age old saying is “opposites attract”. When that’s the case, how do we expect someone who may be opposite from us to know what we always need in love all the time?
One of my favorite sayings on a day where my energy, inspiration, or speed is a bit low is “I feel wilted”. Just as a flower that isn't getting what it needs to take care of itself starts to droop, we can easily get wilted too. But contrary to flowers that let us know their necessities, we often tend to hide them. We push through social commitments and “nice to do things” and chances are, we aren’t fully present while we are there. At work, how difficult is it for us to give our true thoughts or feedback, without feeling anxious or hesitant? And in relationships, why is that we feel like we can’t express our feelings, ideas on love, and needs, especially to the person that we should be closest with? This is a big one that for some reason, I think we think we should just automatically get about those we are in relationships with, when it actuality it makes us that much closer when you openly communicate about these things.
This week, I tried to take on the mentality of a flower. They aren’t abrasive in regards to what they require, and they don’t holler their needs at you (though I’m sure a few of my plants have wanted to). Instead, they send a polite message that they could use a little something to make them feel even better. I put aside thoughts of judgement in my social commitments, explained my situation, and took care of myself rather than getting worn down. At work, I realized how fortunate I am to work with a team who encourages me to speak openly about my thoughts, and I realized how essential that is for our workplace happiness. I made an effort to articulate more of my thoughts, ideas, feedback, and career goals. In my relationship, I took note of how much I value Will and I’s openness to chat about what we need in terms of support, love, and ways we can show one another we care. (This also strongly applies when you are tired, and maybe a bit emoitional…it’s good to acknowledge that in conversation too ;) .)
I noticed today rather than waking up on Saturday morning exhausted with a headache that built up during the week, I felt rejuvenated and inspired for a creative weekend. I felt more at ease and present, and I realized something. When we politely and authentically let the people around us know what we are needing, (and when we are where we are meant to be), those people will respect that, and help us to grow right where we are at. There is always a way, regardless of the situation or spot, for us to share what we are needing, and we will feel more rooted when we do. I hope you'll give it a try this week, and hopefully a great bunch of weekend flowers will find its way to you too.