Everyone I know has been quite anxious for summer to arrive. Chicago winters can be long drawn-out affairs that serve up side dishes of crankiness and cabin fever, not to mention the flu. But also a certainty that the sun will fix everything.
Well, I personally love summer. I especially love the farmer’s markets with fresh grown tomatoes, sweet juicy corn on the cob, cucumbers, and watermellon that dares you to see how far you can spit the seeds. It seems to somehow remind us about roots; how strong they can be, and how they either sustain and nourish, or if not healthy, hinder growth and development into the full bloom of maturity. I can’t think of any plant (or human) that grows without them! We all need them.
But some of us, like scraggly plants with too-small tomatoes, or the corn stalks with only half-filled-out ears were shortchanged. We didn’t get the foundation we needed, or the nutrients to make us “ideal.” Our growth was often stunted emotionally rather than physically, but the principle was the same – we got cheated somewhere along the way. But guess what? It’s time to put on our big-girl or big-boy pants and deal with it!
First of all, we’re not plants! We have good minds and living spirits. And unlike plants, we can actually deal with things in ways that make us stronger. Should we be deemed useless because we’re not ideal? Heck no! Some of the best tomatoes for a salad are the little ones. Some of the best creamed corn is made from kernels on an only half-filled-out ear. What’s there is still sweet and good and wholesome. And the same is true of us.
Just because someone (usually a parent or loved one) didn’t give us the “right” kind of love, didn’t protect us against storms – either literally or figuratively – doesn’t mean we can’t still be seen as good, valuable, and able to contribute to this melting pot of life.
We are “as good as” and “as worthy of” respect for what we have to give to the world as those with deeper or stronger roots; as those that weren’t battered by storms and the cold winds of adversity. We are enough! And with our contributions to life, we can nourish others by simply being.
Don’t let what happened to you somewhere along the way keep you from feeling worthy. Don’t feel “less than” today, or any other day. Stand tall, and remember your worth. Thank your roots for getting you this far, but now you must take over the task of weeding out the useless and the damaging that keeps you from blooming and fully maturing. You must take responsibility for your role in nurturing yourself and making sure you have vitamin-rich entities in the form of friends and habits to keep you strong and help you grow.
Do it! Bloom where you are. Provide the world with a chance to have your best self in it, no matter your size, strength, or shape. You are enough! You are grand! You warm the earth like summer sun. I salute you.
Coretta Dixon is a highly regarded businesswoman and sexual assault survivor. Her own traumatic experiences and exemplary work done through the healing process, along with her Master’s Degree and business experience in Change Management, equip her well to act as a coach to those who have done the work of healing and now wish to “thrive.” She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.