In case you wondered, my plant, again, is thriving now. If you remember from my last blog post (and this entire plant saga) I transitioned this precious jewel to the outside, which brought with it all kinds of revelation about being resilient and reflecting on the many things we've been experiencing collectively in our society. Although the transition was necessary for the growth and expansion of this previously sheltered plant, it was a little rough.
With the first few days out in the hot sun, the previously stable leaves became burnt in some areas, and those lush green leaves that I had just gotten to a stable place, slowly dried up. Yet, this plant continued to have on-going cycles of re-birth that constantly astounded me. And, before I knew it, this plant adapted successfully, and now proudly displays healthy leaves that continue to grow with little to no intervention from me (once again!). Quite honestly, it's in a place where I don't even have to worry about it much. It has truly found its element, and is now thriving.
But, like clockwork, something happened. Recently, some yard work was being done, and a (well-meaning) individual partially sliced it by a weed wacker! Was I a bit hurt? Yes! Was this person just doing their job? Yes. Could it have been an honest mistake? I'm sure of it. But, the slice felt personal, as if the person didn’t realize the value and the fight and time it's taken to get my plant (read: my vision) to where it is now. Even more dramatic, this was the first full healthy cycle of this plant since being outdoors. And then, as if careless, the small slice felt like a mockery to me. I know, I know, you must be saying, but it's just a plant, right? Yet, this plant, that slice, seemed so much deeper. And, also like clockwork, I was immediately inspired to see beyond what this plant was representing.
In me being me, this plant has been like my vision, my dreams, my growth. And, just like me being me, I started to see, in the metaphorical sense, that when our vision seemingly gets to a healthy place, when we are bold enough to take yet another step outside of our comfort zone, when we are finally seeing progress... like you're finally thriving, someone or something can come along, most of the time "just doing their job," and cause an irritation, disruption, or challenge that feels like a careless act of not valuing your vision, or even more dramatic... YOU, in the way you (or it) deserves.
You should be able to handle it, right?
Well, in theory, I feel compelled to say... yes. But, my emotions and heart think, "but they don’t know what it took to get to that point!" They may even be quick to criticize, to wound, to cut your vision and dreams in a way that may not be debilitating, but, yet, it still leaves a "mark." Sometimes even when individuals are confronted on these "careless" acts, they may assume that because you are in a healthy, stable, or established place, that it shouldn't be that big of deal, right? And then it hit me, this can go both ways.
It caused me to question: when have I been that person? The one who judges someone's progress unknowingly, because of my pride and ego? Or, maybe I am quick to skim over or not support someone, because I think their goals are too basic or elementary? Or, take the big glaring issues happening in our society; it could be far easier than not to assume that this person doesn't even deserve my time of day, because it seems they don't even value another's very thoughts, opinions, or concerns. The hardships of life can start to wear on a person that it leads to less sensitivity to the issues of life, or even the ability to overlook or forgive without need for return.
And then the shocking thing occurred, I was challenged to stop and forgive the person who sliced by plant, even though they didn't even know they caused harm to begin with. I was then challenged to be extremely deep and think about life, the pursuit of vision, and our progression in life on a human level. In the context of someone's vision or goals, I was confronted with the need to think about what it may take for someone else to put themselves out there, or even, what may be causing the seemingly "careless" individual to display the level of anger, challenge, or difference of opinion or perspective. But, you might be now wondering, how can you just let it go (whether "it" is this seemingly superficial situation or the tough places of life)?
Well, I had to deeply examine myself and ask, again: where have I have also carelessly, even if unintentionally or unknowingly, "cut" someone else's dreams or vision because I was "just doing my job" (fill in the blank on whatever "job" that may be)? And, I don't say this to say that we have to walk around on eggshells, or even blatantly accept harmful actions or behaviors. I'm also not saying that someone can't have an opinion or critique on what you're doing. But, I was, personally, compelled to be more mindful. Have my words, actions, or thoughts (even if said to myself or towards myself) caused harm? Do I understand the full perspective and journey of the other person, and maybe why they think, express, or present themselves the way they do? Am I willing to stop the cycle of destruction, so that there's a stopping point to that well-known saying that: “hurt people, hurt people”? And, now I ask you: are you willing to join me in taking this approach?
When we stop and recognize that we are all human, we are all learning, we are all growing, we all make mistakes, we all need to learn, we all need to adjust, we all will have an opinion, then we can recognize we all need to make strides to both protect our vision, but forgive another when challenges may arise. Because, I get it, we’re all in our feeling these days. Life is rough, exhausting, and we’re holding on by a thread. But, eventually someone’s got to stop and say (even if it’s the one that is just getting to a healthy place): let me take a step back and see how can I help. When we’re bold enough to take our own hurt, even if it seems simple, not that deep, or as if we're too much in our feelings, and do a self-check, I truly believe it alleviates some of the abrasiveness we encounter in our everyday life and communication with one another. And, hey, it may even give room to be inspired along the way. So, if I can be the one: let me be the one to change the narrative. And, dare I say, let me be the one to forgive, and trust that through this process, my growth (and yours) will be even greater than before. And in this way, may we dare to be influentially visionary.