Bloom where you are planted

'Bloom where you are planted' ~ Saint Francis de Sales. What does this really mean?  The expression "bloom where you're planted" means a person should take advantage of the opportunities they have in their life and be grateful for the present situation. Often times, if you're unhappy with where you're at in life, you may struggle with this.  Now you might be thinking, but I don’t have a “favorable environment”. I’m lonely and don’t have any real friends; my job is stressful; my coworkers are toxic; I can’t find a job; my finances are a mess; my community is divided; the news is depressing…. 

Here are 5 ways to bloom where you’re planted even when life gets challenging.

✪ Embrace the challenge - If you’re in the midst of a difficult time, realize that it is only for a season. Time marches on. What is now probably will be different later. Situations change. Opportunities arise. Consider the ways that this current challenge may make you a better person. Focus on the positives instead of the negatives

✪ Stop complaining - Complaining is the first defense mechanism we have when things don’t go our way. We want to blame someone for fear that if we don’t, we might realize the blame is on us. However, when we do this, it only makes the situation harder. Find ways to laugh even in moments of tension. Our attitudes are what make things easier. Control what you can control, but for the rest, let it go. If we try to maintain a positive attitude about things that are really outside of our control, the situation will be a bit more manageable.

✪ Focus on others - In times of challenge, it’s easy to turn inward. It’s easy to bury ourselves inside our shell. However, that really isn’t the moment to do it. This is when it’s imperative that we turn outward. Focus on your family. Focus on the people around you. Doing that will help keep your perspective in check. It will help remind you that there is more to life than the challenge you are facing. Those gentle reminders will help encourage you forward instead of being frozen in time.

✪ Celebrate the small things - When things are difficult, it’s easy to succumb to feelings of frustration or anger. It’s easy to point fingers and blame the situation for what we are dealing with. It’s easy to lose sight of everything else that’s happening in our lives. Don’t get lost! Make sure you take the time to celebrate things that happen to you and to your family.

✪ Visualize the future - Part of life is moving forward. When we are challenged in certain situations, we have a tendency to get stuck. One way that we can get out of the ruts we build for ourselves is by visualizing the future. Focus on where you want to go. In order to get out of debt, we need to make a budget. In order to find a new job, we need to update our resume. In order to grieve the loss of a parent, we need to give ourselves the time and space to mourn instead of putting our heads down and just pretending not to feel. By keeping one eye on where you want to go and one eye on where you are, you keep the end goal in mind and you will continue to move forward.  Here's to blooming!

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