A picture that has imprinted itself in my mind quite often over the last few weeks is that of a well of water overflowing. The water causes flowers to bloom all around the well, bringing new life and beauty to what was once barren.
I've been thinking about this paradox of how brokenness helps us bloom. I think our emotions are like that. Emotions, particularly the hard ones like anger, sadness, and hurt, often help us express our core wounds and start the healing process.
A therapist once told me to picture my soul like a garden and asked me to think about the different states my soul garden could experience. At the time, I sketched a picture with four quadrants depicting a garden that was completely barren, a wasteland, and then in each quadrant, the garden began to grow through nourishment from the sun, water, air, and my loving care.
I often think of that comment as I spend time in my garden and reflect on how I am helping my own self bloom and grow. How am I nourishing myself, even when I am broken or experiencing pain? What I am learning is that I can accept where I am at, right now at this moment. I can accept and acknowledge the different emotions I have, even if they are messy, hard, and painful. The garden of my soul may have weeds mixed in with its flowers right now, but maybe that’s okay.
Slowly, I work on nourishing my soul.
My soul flowers won’t bloom overnight, but nothing does. It takes time to grow, and it takes time to heal.
The truth is that we all have wounds. We all have trauma. We all have things that happened to us that we would rather forget or blow away from our existence. Yet, those wounds also shape our story.
Henri Nouwen, one of my favorite theologians, writes about how we bring healing to others through our own wounds. We can create safe spaces for others by sharing our own brokenness and our own vulnerability.
So what nourishes you? What makes you want to sing, dance, laugh, or cry? How are you blooming? How are you becoming whole?