“They tried to bury us; they did not know we were the seeds.” – Mexican proverb
As I was walking on a windy day, leaves began to swirl around, and I couldn’t help but think about the symbolism. Life is filled with uncertainty, unexpected challenges, frustrations, and disappointment. We seem to live in a world that is always changing, and we feel tossed about. The financial market swings, jobs are lost, and relationships end. The place we thought we would be in life isn’t where we are when we look around us. Our happiness tends to come and go as things, people, and circumstances don’t seem necessary line up according to our plans. So we cling desperately to the “right” job, search for the “right” spouse, work out extra hard to look the “right” way, and hope to be at the “right” place at the “right” time.
As I continued to walk, I noticed small blades of grass and a few flowers growing out in-between the cracks of the concrete. I couldn’t help to stop and take in the lesson that those blades of grass and flowers had to teach me about my life that felt so subject to whichever way the wind blew.
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I assume that it is safe to say that it was not the “right” place or original plan for the flower to grow there. Through circumstances out of its control as a seed, it was blown, tossed, and rolled into the crack in the concrete. That it would be much easier to have been planted in a field, with easy access to sunlight and rain. To grow in more predictable and more convenient circumstances like most flowers. These few flowers were able to be successful, to reach their full potential, beauty, and purpose in spite of their circumstances. How?
As I stood there staring at these flowers and concrete, I realized that the flowers destiny and success was not dependent upon external factors, but rather the seed that contained its purpose. Internally within the seed contained the message and formula for it be successful and reach its potential to be a beautiful flower, regardless of where it landed. It can be blown by the wind every which way, fall into difficult circumstances and cracks, yet still thrive.
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So many times my happiness, self-worth, and motivation to be successful are dependent on my environment and external factors. We often think to ourselves that if we could get a better job, better car, better spouse, or just be in a different place than where we currently find ourselves, then we would be happy and live up to our full potential. We think if we could win the approval of others, keep up with society’s trends, and save up enough money then we can feel safe behind the life we have built for ourselves.
While we know that these things are circumstantial and fragile, we do everything we can to cling to them and avoid them from being blown away like sand. We try so hard to control the things and people that threaten our nice “right” environment that we have created. In spite of our efforts, many of us feel unsatisfied and still afraid of change. But if we truly took the time to know, listen, and trust ourselves, we would realize that we contain that same seed of success that that flower relies on regardless of the circumstance we find ourselves in.
In his book, Psycho Cybernetics, Dr. Maxwell Maltz explains that you don’t have to teach a squirrel how to gather nuts or even to store them for the winter. Animals contain an instinct to be successful and rely on this throughout their lives. We too have a success instinct, and even more, we have the ability to be creative in whatever circumstance we find ourselves in. In fact, our brain is always working for us to be successful. “ Dr. Wilder Penfield, who was the director of the Montreal Neurological Institute, reported at a meeting of the National Academy of Sciences that he had discovered a recording mechanism in a small area of the brain that apparently faithfully records everything that a person has ever experienced, observed, or learned.” (Maltz, 2015). This is why when you forget someone’s name you search through your brain almost like a file looking for the answer. When encountering a difficulty or problem, your brain scans the millions of experiences it has recorded to help find a solution. Therefore, in every moment, you have an unbelievable amount of resources at your disposal and every circumstance, good or bad, is being recorded to help you for the future!
A seed does not look at its surroundings and say, “This isn’t the right circumstance, I can’t grow here.” Rather, a seed says “ I have what it takes to grow and be a flower inside of me, I’ll grow anywhere”.
You are a seed, and everything is soil
Stop looking for the “right” soil to be planted in. You can stop worrying and fearing the next change that may or may not happen. You don’t have to chase the illusion of comfort and security in external things. You have what it takes to be successful wherever you are with what you have. “Bad” circumstances, disappointment, and unexpected change are experiences that are being processed and recorded for your future good. You do not have to worry about making the “right” choice, being at the “right” place, or creating the “right” circumstance.
Trust yourself and stop trying to get out of the cracks in life and begin to grow in them!