If you have read some of my recent posts, you know that my brother was in an explosion a few weeks ago. While I was in his intensive care unit, I watched in amazement the care delivered by his nurses and all the electronics lit up with activity.
In a conversation with one of the nurses, we were talking about my brother’s condition. He was stable but with many unknowns. The nurse then made an interesting statement which went something like this:
“I can manage all the medication settings and support systems to have all the right readings. All the signs will be good. However, until he responds physically to us, we cannot really tell if his true condition.”
In other words, electronically, my brother’s life can be comfortable, and all the readings can look good. Responding to a simple command will demonstrate much more about the state of his life than anything else. It is about engagement.
In this trying time, a key insight emerges. So many times, all of our readings can look good. Our bank account can have a reasonable safety net; our home is filled with the right kind of stuff; and our transportation can be all smooth and shiny. But, are we really alive? Are we really engaged in life, responding, acting, leading, and inspiring?
And, then, this month’s Reverb asked the question: What’s blossoming? A simple spring flower question, yet powerful when applied to a human life. In my mind, the question really is: Is your life blossoming? Now, that is a tough question to answer.
We get caught in the repeatable actions of a day, week, and month, and we end up being a closed flower bud. No real beauty is unfolding. We may look alive, but with no signs of real, meaningful life.
A blossomed life shows the beauty of inspired actions. The true signs of life show more than a collection of stuff; they show a collection of doing good works. Just as a flower bud unfolds to expose beauty and the color of life, so does a blossomed life.
When you think of a flower bud, the characteristics include:
- A green oval shaped cocoon showing nothing about its color or ultimate shape.
- It looks alive and points in the direction of the sun, moving with the sun as it shifts across the sky.
- What’s inside is protected from some of the elements but can be easily mowed down from its unfolding pattern.
After the bud opens, the characteristics include:
- Exposed color and beauty which fills the senses of the people and creatures around it.
- The unprotected insides support a community as bees may swarm to gather their nectar, turning it into honey and sweetening another community far from the original flower.
- The flower is open to many dangers, losing its colorful petals, one-by-one over time, either through strong storms or passing creatures.
- The cycle completes with the flower dying, drying itself in the hot sun, yet the seeds drop to the ground so new life springs again.
The insights in all of this, I believe, are to ensure your life has more than good readings. It is an engaged life, unfolding, supporting, and renewing all around.
Your life should be inspiring something – kids, community, minds, actions, or whatever good it may be.
Your life should be exposed, blossomed. Although there are dangers with opening up, your true colors will brighten more days than what it would all buttoned-up. Be comfortable with what is inside, and show your beauty.
Your life should focus on the people around you. It is not a solo adventure. Just as a flower needs water and care (a community), supporting relationships deliver more value and greater meaning.
There are always certain dangers or risks in life, yet nothing is worse than leaving your community with nothing meaningful.
It may be the lesson you taught or the saying you always emphasized. It may be the words you wrote or spoke which motivated someone to think or act differently. It may be your painting or visual expression which opens someone’s mind to new ideas, tapping unused creativity and calling it to action.
Respond to life. Act with meaning. Expose the beauty of who you are.