Expectations & The Amaryllis

Photo credit: Foter.com / CC0

Some people hate New year’s resolutions because they never follow through on them. So they just pretend that they’re not important, or they say they don’t have expectations anymore. It’s not true, though, and pretending otherwise does you more harm than not.

To illustrate my point, I have a little story to share with you. It’s a story about an amaryllis flower I almost didn’t grow.

I bought it as part of a fundraiser and was going to give it as a gift. It’s this kit that comes in a box. It has the bulb, the soil, a container, and instructions.

As instructed, I put it away in a dark and cool place until it was time to wrap and give it. That way, it would not start growing before it was supposed to, but, in the meantime, I forgot all about it. When I did come across it several weeks later, you can probably guess what I found.

The amaryllis had started growing in the box! The closet I had put it in wasn’t completely dark or chilly enough, and the bulb grew toward the light that leaked in through the cracks in the door. The lid of the box was buckled outwards and when I opened it, I saw the bloom. It was curved over itself on a slim stalk that was the palest shade of green – so pale it was practically white and the lone flower there was also a paler version of the colour it was supposed to be — a rich coral red.
Alarmed, I brought the flower out into the light and planted it properly, hoping it wasn’t too late. Eventually it grew into what it was meant to be. Well, almost, anyway. The stalk stood up – tall, straight and green with the help of a supporting rod inserted into the soil, and the colour of the flower became more vibrant, though it never got to where it should have been. However, two other flowers emerged, and they were what they should have been — bright red, bigger and stronger than the first blossom, which had been starved of light, soil and proper care.
The lesson here is that even if you ignore your dreams and expectations of yourself, they don’t disappear. You may say that you don’t have expectations of yourself, but your soul does, and it will always search for the light of expression no matter how furiously and continually you ignore them.
In this allegory is the seed of hope for us. When we realize that our dreams never die, we then have a choice. Do we nurture ourselves or continue to stuff our own potential into a dank and suffocating place?
This, for me, is a rhetorical question – of course, we need to choose to nurture ourselves – but the question then becomes how, right?
How many of you can relate? And what hope do you have for yourself in 2017?
Is it a screenplay? Starting your own business? Maybe it’s writing a memoir or starting a blog?
Now what’s standing in the way between you and your dream now? How do you go from an expectation – however weak and tiny – to believing you can achieve it – to actually taking the steps to make that expectation and hope a reality? How do you get your heart, brain and your soul to work together?
There are four steps, and I’ll talk about those in my next few posts.

All the best,
Elizabeth