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Everyone you meet is experiencing their own struggles. I remind myself of this when I am quick to judge someone. It doesn’t always prevent me from being judgmental but it helps a lot, because I realize that, despite all our differences, we are all struggling with something. We are all on a journey. We all need different things to get through that journey, that struggle, that challenge.
During one of my last classes of my Master’s degree program, the following quote was displayed in the professor’s slideshow:
And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.–Anais Nin
I began silently crying in the lecture hall when I read it. I literally wept in a room of close to a hundred people, just from reading this one line of text.
At the time, I was in the midst of an internal struggle – I was constantly changing my mind about my divorce. We had separated and reconciled and separated again (this time while still living together), and I was so very afraid to actually leave. I was not happy being married to my ex-husband, but at least I knew what my life was. At least I knew there would be someone there who cared about me on some level, even if we weren’t truly happy together. At least I had a routine, and I knew where everything was in my apartment, and we were paying the bills. At least I had someone in my life.
It’s scary to cut that tie to someone, to solid ground, to routine.
But I had packed everything I was and everything I could be into a tight little bud, too afraid of what would happen to let go of being sure and reach out toward what might or might not be happiness.
It still took me almost a year to move out and file our dissolution papers. To blossom and grow into who and what I am now – and I’m still growing all the time.
Maybe your struggle is like mine, about a relationship you aren’t really happy in but you like having someone around. Maybe you want to change something else about your life – like the products you use, or the foods you eat — but you’re afraid that friends and family members will laugh at you or think you’re weird. Maybe you want to sell your big home to live in a smaller dwelling but you’re afraid you will run out of room. Everyone has something dancing just out of reach that they want but they’re not sure how much they want it. My advice is to take the risk.
No matter what your happiness is, even if you don’t know what it is yet, be aware of those moments when you are staying tight in a bud and really ask yourself if it’s worth the risk of missing out on the rest of your life. Don’t make excuses for why it’s a bad idea. Risk losing what you don’t want for the chance at something you do. Blossom!