Bloom Where You are Planted

roseWhile doing an interview recently, the interviewer said to me that she admired my ability to “bloom where I am planted.” As a gardening enthusiast, this really struck a positive chord with me. She was referencing my various state to state residential moves as an Army wife. Despite the geographical relocation, I still thrive personally and professionally. The irony is that I would define myself as the rose that grew from the concrete. My childhood, the soil, was less than ideal and my 20’s lacked proper nutrition and sunlight. My days were very turbulent as I struggled as a single mom and stumbled to find my way in Corporate America and the dating arena. If anything, I often felt like a wilted orchid—beautiful, but needing a sturdy stakeholder to stand tall and thrive.

Despite not having optimal environments, I managed to sow seeds that would reap long-term benefits. What you put into the world is what you will receive from the world. In order to reap goodness, you must sow goodness. So, how can you bloom where you are planted?

1) Plant seeds of kindness. Romans 12:10 - Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love. It doesn’t take much to be kind to others. You can offer someone a compliment, extend an olive branch to resolve a dispute, surprise them with a small gesture or simply be quiet opposed to voicing a negative comment. Being kind allows us to communicate betters with others.

2) Plant seeds of honesty. Ephesians 4:25 - Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. Start by being honest with yourself. Are you living the life you desire or the life that others have envisioned for you? Are you honest with the world or do you create falsehoods through your social media posts? Will people be disappointed when they meet the real you because you have created someone else for their acceptance? Remember, honesty is the basis for all healthy relationships. You need a solid foundation to grow and blossom.

3) Plant seeds of reciprocity. Romans 12:16 - Be of the same mind one toward another. Let’s face it! Everyone is pressed for time and resources and we all have to prioritize our time and commitments. While we may want to help out with every request that comes our way, the reality is that we must focus on those who don’t make us feel that they match our 100% with 50%. You can’t water half of your garden and expect everything you planted to bloom at the same time! Learn to focus your time, energy and efforts into people who return the same common courtesy as you.

4) Plant seeds of faith. 2 Corinthians 5:7 - For we walk by faith, not by sight. Faith can help you take the first steps into the life you have always dreamed about. If you believe it, you are halfway to achieving it. Have faith in yourself when no one else does. Faith is that little voice in the back of your head that acts like your internal cheerleader. Listen to it!

Kindness, honesty, reciprocity and faith are what I’m sowing this spring. With the proper adherence, I can look forward to reaping the benefits all year.