I shared a post on my Instagram page recently about a how a beautiful plant I spotted in my local garden centre inspired me to think of my rough edges in a better way. If you’d like to read the post please do so here. As usual, when I have these moments of reflection, the thought grows and becomes much deeper than originally planned – so much so that I couldn’t fit it in another post on social media! I guess that’s the beauty of blogs right?
Mother Nature is a ceaseless source of inspiration and teaching for me. I’ve learned (and continue learning) so much about the world and myself, just simply by observing Her wonderful work. That’s where the beautiful pink rimmed plant comes in. The first time I saw it, I was struck by the gorgeous green of the leaves and their delicate lighter pattern. I love leaves; I’m much more a foliage than flower kinda girl, you can see evidence of my leaf love all over my home in my houseplant choices! Anyways, I digress…..
On the morning of the post, I woke up feeling a little rough around the edges. I suffer from various chronic conditions and some days are better than others, this day being a not so good one. It’s so easy to fall into a negative way of thinking when we’re not feeling our best, am I right? As open and honest as I try to be about my health, I usually want to gloss over it or hide it/hide from it – I mean, who wants to feel vulnerable all the time?
Looking closely at the picture of the plant, you can see that the edges of the leaves are not smooth at all. They are bumpy, jagged and toothed. Does that make the plant any less beautiful or fit for purpose? Of course not! Not only do they not have a negative impact on the life of the plant, Mother Nature has painted them a fabulous and bright shade of pink! So those rough untidy edges, instead of being hidden or smoothed out, have been decorated and celebrated and repurposed for the future of the plant – after all, bumblebees love colour and will be drawn to this one to pollinate it, so it will continue to grow year after year!
What if instead of protecting or hiding or covering up your rough, prickly, painful or difficult parts you celebrated them instead? What if you could paint them a beautiful and vibrant colour, and display them proudly like the plant does? What would it be like to change something that causes you harm into something that does you good? How would it feel to be proud of your rough edges instead of being embarrassed or ashamed of them?
My health is not my only rough edge. For years and years I have battled against the feeling of being too much; too intense, too passionate, too quirky, too loud, too deep. People I cared about have told me I’m too much, that I just need to tone it down, that I don’t have to be “like that” all the time. For a good long while I tried to be less, I tried to cover it up and smooth out that rough edge and I pretended to be something I wasn’t. It was exhausting, made me miserable, and those people that thought I was too much? Well they still left my life anyway, no matter how I smothered my personality! Now I love that rough edge, it’s a huge part of what makes me Dee and it’s not being hidden ever again! If I could paint that edge a colour; it would be bright red, the colour of passion and blood and life and fire – and it would show others that they don’t need to snuff out their own inner flame to suit people who don’t burn the same way they do.
Maybe you’re already aware of your rough edges, or maybe you’re wondering what the heck I’m babbling on about! A rough edge can be any part of you – physical, mental or spiritual – that makes you feel uncomfortable and/or causes you to worry what other people may think of you. It’s a vulnerable edge – like an exposed nerve in a tooth cavity – that we try to protect, hide or cover up because we believe it can do us harm. At least that’s what it means for me!
Whether you know where they are or not, we all have these rough edges. And I think they can all be repainted and re-purposed – like a holistic up-cycle project! Every part of us is there for a reason, and whatever the reason is IT’S NOTHING TO DO WITH WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK! So if you have people in your life who encourage you to hide, shrink or be ashamed of parts of yourself…. well it may be time to Marie Kondo your friends list. Nobody has the right to tell you what is and is not acceptable about you!
Why not start to get comfortable with your jagged and prickly parts, instead of burying or ignoring them? Get to know them, figure out why they’re there and what they bring to your life. What colour would you paint them? How could you celebrate that part of you? How can you make peace with that rough side of yourself, and find a way to move forward with it?
I would love to hear what your rough sides are and what colours they would be after a makeover! Please do leave a comment below, and let me know what you’re now celebrating about you.