Friday, May 10, 2013

Grow, F***ing Tulip!

I called my friend, Mimi, last weekend when I was feeling down about all the emotion I had just spewed on my friend.  She knows me well and knows how hard I am on myself and how hard I strive for perfection.  She said, "Imagine a tulip coming up out of the ground.  You're like a thunderstorm when the tulip needs stillness and tenderness.  It's like you're standing over the tulip saying 'Grow, f***ing tulip!'"  Wow, that's been powerful for me!  Hilarious, too.  I laugh every time I think about it!  It's so absurd.

Then Michael, my counselor (love him!), was helping me process through some emotions a few days later.  I was being abrasive with myself because I want to be strong and able to handle anything.  I actually am strong and can handle anything, but I don't like to admit that the opposite is true as well.  I don't want to admit that I'm actually hurt very easily and that there is a heap of hurt and sadness stuck inside from all the times I didn't allow myself to feel it.

As I was trying to get in touch with the feelings that I needed to feel, Michael said "What if you were trying to coax a bunny out of a hole?  What would that look like?"  "Come on, let's go, it won't hurt" is too harsh for a bunny.  Bunnies are very gentle, skittish creatures.  They scare easily and require quiet and calm.  They'll stop dead in their tracks at the first unknown sound and they'll run away to hide at the first sign of danger.  They will only come out of their hole if it's quiet, peaceful and safe.  If you want to get to know the bunny, you'd need to be quiet and peaceful and allow the bunny to come to you, offering a safe, nurturing presence.  Forcing and coercing will not work.  It simply won't.

These have changed my perspective entirely.  When I talk with my kids, I think about the bunny.  When I am impatient or disrespectful to myself with my words or thoughts, I think about the bunny.  We are all like bunnies. Our true selves can only feel comfortable being seen in a welcoming, accepting and loving environment.  It's apropos that tulips and bunnies are both representations of springtime, new beginnings and resurrection.

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