Live as a Wildflower, or Die as a Potted Plant: 5 Thoughts to Open Your Mind and Heart

For myself I hold no preferences among flowers, so long as they are wild, free, spontaneous. Bricks to all greenhouses! Black thumb and cutworm to the potted plant! ~Edward Abbey

flower b&wK. Noel Photography

As humans, we want to explore and we want to grow! This can be achieved and mean something different to everyone. Everyone has their own idea of success and their own idea of what it means to be happy.

But “being happy” has become this ultimate achievement and then knocks us on our asses when we realize that we’re not. It’s because being happy is not the goal. Happiness comes and goes like every other emotion. The key is to become content. Contentment with your own range of emotions, your appearance of yourself and of those around you, and contentment with every aspect of your life.

Bliss is found in acceptance of self. Here are a few ideas that might open up your mind when it comes to the harder subjects of life.

1) Rejection sucks. There is no better way to say it. It does. Whether it’s a boyfriend/girlfriend, job, friend or other it can be hard to accept. We feel it as a personal attack on who we are. Open your mind! Realize that what others do to us is only a reflection of what they feel or want for themselves and try not to take things personally. See it as your freedom to finding what IS right for you. If you have to force acceptance from someone/something you are wasting your energy. It takes patient to get there, but don’t give up.

2) When it comes to love, nothing can be quite as bittersweet. Even if everything is going well it can be hard to balance who you are and who you are with them. No one can ever know you like you. I’ve had a boyfriend tell me that he knew me better than I knew myself. And I believed him…and then I lost myself and let him tell me who I was. So know that you control your own universe. And while we may be all essentially alone, having the right person by your side with a mutual respect for your own individualities can make that universe a little less lonely.

3) Forgiveness. When it’s the last thing on your mind, stop, and make it your first. It’s important to process your emotions and what you are feeling at that moment. But then quickly remember that you do not want to hang onto jealousy, rage, pain. Because if you hang on for too long, it becomes you. In the end other’s trespasses against us end up becoming our own trespasses against ourselves. When something is done to us that is perpetrated by another person that is the first wrong. When we relive that moment in our minds and emotions and let it control who we are that is of our own doing and we wrong ourselves. Forgiveness is a necessity for our own wellbeing.

4) Adventure is not just for the young. It is for the young at heart. We’ve all been stuck in a rut before and forgot that there is more to life than just work and when to pick the kids up from practice, to go and get the groceries, etc. We were not put on this planet for careers, for looking nice, or for the newest iPhone. We were put here to explore and to see how far we can push ourselves! So find, explore, do something! Push your own comfort zone, because if you don’t you’ll end up a potted plant depending on others to create your experiences.

5) Gratitude. It’s one of those things that can easily evade us in the worst of times. We need to be continually conscious of our own emotions and actions. If thoughts create action and action creates change remember to ask yourself “Is what I’m doing/thinking going to change this world for the better or worse?” Have you ever encountered a really rude or just negative person? Think of how that changed your own mood and then did you do anything worthwhile after that or did you just keep spreading negativity around? Now think of a time when someone did or said something nice to you. Was it easier to feel the intention to put something positive back into the world?

Our thoughts create who we are. Making the effort to appreciate what we have creates contentment. You can strive for bigger and better things (in fact don’t ever stop), but contentment can grow right along with it.