With so much going on in the world at the moment, it can be easy to feel that survive rather than thrive is the new normal.
However, I am reminded daily of the ability to thrive in the face of adversity by a simple but beautiful lavender plant. I have watched this lavender plant grow over the past few years. It has been exposed to all elements, including frost, and searing hot sun, torrential rain, and gale force winds. It is neither sheltered nor cared for by anyone and it sits alone, jammed in the crack of a concrete slab, beside a busy main road where it is exposed to constant pollution from passing cars. Yet this lavender plant has bloomed beyond belief. Each time I pass it, I smile because it reminds me of what can be achieved if we don’t waste our energy on challenging external conditions, and instead, we just focus on what we are here for, which is joy, growth, and our ability to bloom.
This week, in the wake of all that is happening across the globe, this lonesome lavender plant made me think. I admire its resilience and ability to take day after day of abuse, extract whatever goodness it can and turn it into absolute beauty. I wondered…why can’t we do the same?
What if instead of fighting hateful words and acts with violence, anger, and frustration, we simply counteracted with acts of pure love? What if instead of anti this and that rallies, we simply poured love from our own hearts onto our neighbours and into our communities. It is so much easier to grow love and compassion than it is to grow hate and fear. Yet all too often we find ourselves drifting the wrong way, adding fuel to the flames, while only trying to make things better. Love is so much stronger than fear and it is something that every one of us carries an unlimited supply of.
As told in Stories of the Spirit, Stories of the Heart by Christina Feldman and Jack Kornfield, “In even the worst landscape of human darkness and difficulty there shine beacons of light. They are not necessarily cast by particularly powerful or holy people who possess grandiose strategies for changing the world. They most often radiate from simple, ordinary people who in their intimate encounters with tragedy, injustice, and terror have been transformed and have learned how to respond to the world around them with the simplicity and power of their faith, love, and compassion. There is no power greater than the power of love, no shadow that can withstand the power of compassion, no demon that can overwhelm the power of openheartedness. Through their example our eyes are opened to the possibilities of bringing light to our own shadows.”
There is no better time to love like there is no tomorrow, grow in grateful awareness and to beautifully bloom in the absolute face of adversity.