A few things I’m figuring out about life (may they bring you peace):

If I am meant to blossom, then I must nurture the garden that sleeps in me.

I must learn to dabble in my interests, carefree, without so much attachment to the outcome. Levity eases the pressure we put on ourselves.

I must be the sunlight that wakes the seeds, providing the light that feeds them.

And when I don’t know how, I can at least remember this: the atoms in me came from the stars. The sun and I are one. So, if nothing else, I will smile as radiantly as I can and trust that the flowers will find me.

If I am meant to unfold, I must learn to soften.

I must release my desire to know/control/sign off on every last detail and cultivate love in its place. It’s only through love that I will ever find the freedom to flourish.

I must believe in myself enough to let me grow, giving myself trust and encouragement through even the ugly parts.

And when I don’t know how, I can at least remember this: it is safe to be me, exactly as I am. I do not have to be the enemy. So, if nothing else, I will leave myself breathing room and wait without fear. Something beautiful is budding.

If I am meant to live in peace, then I must love the part of me that doesn’t know how.

That part of me that wants to yell at my seedling self. “Grow, grow!” it wants to shout when time is all I need.

It wants to pace across the flower bed when stillness is all I need.

It wants to hover, casting a shadow on all that tries to grow, when light is all I need.

It’s always torn between the fears of missing out. I must grab it all before it’s gone. I must keep searching for perfection. When the present is all I need. 

And no matter how many times I’ve seen with my very own eyes that something even better than I could have ever planned is always possible, that part wants to get in there and force things to grow in the image of its current obsession. Even when I know that I don’t know everything.

Despite all of this, something beautiful somehow works it’s way through the soil, and between my sigh of relief and tears of gratitude, that little piece of me looks at it, shrugs, and says, “But it’s still not enough.” 

If I am meant to love myself, I must bring compassion to whatever arises. Even this.

I must recognize my fear as the part of me that needs more of my love, never less. I must hold my suffering softer still, for this is how I make room in my heart for something new to emerge.

I must be love. And if I don’t know how, I can at least remember this: I can place my hands on my heart and find the place where love runs through me. Without even trying, love is the essence of who I am.

So, I will breathe and cross hand over hand over heart, and if nothing else, I will feel my steady pulse and remember that today, I am alive. @ralph_leslie (Click to Tweet!)

You stand in a garden. Your true nature slumbers here, so stand softer still.

Nurture your garden. Be heartful, mindful, soulful in your living.

Leap with softness.

Burn with lightness.

Charge ahead with tenderness.

And trust that the flowers will find you.

Leslie Ralph is a psychologist, writer, and artist who hopes to leave the world a little brighter than she found it.  Her people are creative, sensitive spirits who crave love and peace, inside and out. Leslie is the author of There, I Might Find Peace: Poetry and Prose, Mantras and Meditations for Peace, Love, and Strength. Download her free gift, a ritual for receiving, a daily ritual for bringing more love and light, clarity and confidence, meaning and connection to your life. You can follow Leslie on Facebook or Instagram.

Image courtesy of Celeste Horrocks.