In a Field of Roses… Be the Wildflower
Today I finished my most recent painting. Recently I saw the phrase “In a field of Roses… She is a Wildflower” which was the inspiration for the piece.
I loved that saying from the moment I read it… you see… I’ve spent the majority of my life trying to fit in… working to be ‘enough’… hustling for love… striving to look as beautiful/thin as others… feeling inadequate next to others who are smarter or more successful than me… yet trying to stay small and hidden at the same time – to not stand out as the oddball… the list goes on and on…
The effort I put into living that way was not only exhausting, but it did not bring me joy in anyway. No matter what I achieved, I was never satisfied… from a number on the scale, to a number in my bank account, to a title or certification… every time I reached that arbitrary thing, it didn’t feel like I accomplished anything. I never celebrated my victories because the story I was telling myself was that my victories weren’t as great as everyone else’s victories. I was living a life of “When I achieve X, then I will be happy”… but, even when I reached X the satisfaction never came because I still saw myself as “not enough” compared to everyone else.
I was so insecure, and because of my insecurities I would try to hide them by giving into peer pressure (yes, that still exists in the adult world)… I would numb myself with booze, food, exercise, you name it so I didn’t have to feel inadequate next to others… I would hurt others (unintentionally) in a way to make myself feel better about myself (people who are hurting, hurt other people)… I looked for everything outside of myself for validation, and even when I got it… it still didn’t convince me that I was good enough.
The problem wasn’t that I wasn’t good enough… the problem was my self-defeating thoughts.
Most people who know me today wouldn’t realize these thoughts, patterns, and behaviors controlled me for decades… Is it because I’m suddenly a super confident person, or because I suddenly became smarter/successful/beautiful/etc? No. It’s simply because I’ve learned to embrace my differences, instead of striving to look/act/live like everyone else.
When I was working so hard to make myself, and my life, look perfect to others, I hid the things that made me unique… because, honestly… not all of those things are things I want to accentuate or that I am proud of… I still see some of them as flaws, but they are part of my story – what makes me, me. Finally fed up with trying to become something I’m not, I changed my perspective…
Just like the saying/painting… To some, a wildflower is called a weed… but, that’s just a matter of perspective. Roses are classically pretty. They are the flowers for which people pay good money. Roses are beautiful, yes… but, anyone with a small child knows what a precious gift a ‘weed’ can be when it is given to you accompanied with wide eyes and a smile. To the child, it is a beautiful flower selected for a beautiful person whom they love. To them, the wildflower is worthy of being displayed as a beautiful bouquet… after all… it IS a flower. It may not fit the mold of what society deems as valuable, but it is valuable to the child… and priceless to the recipient.
So, if you find yourself feeling inadequate compared to others… STOP COMPARING YOURSELF TO OTHERS. Look for the beauty within you and your life… even if it doesn’t look like anyone else. Embrace it. What we perceive as flaws about ourselves, are often the things others are looking at us wishing they had…
A wildflower is unconcerned with the beauty of roses… it continues to bloom despite the fact that most people don’t recognize its beauty… and even when it is cut down or plucked, it continues to grow back and bloom again… you should too. 😉
To all the roses of the world… I appreciate and respect your beauty and grace…
To all the wildflowers… I acknowledge your beauty… and the wild in me honors the wild in you. 😉