When I leave a market with fresh flowers in my hand, I’m often asked what the occasion is. One time I blurted, “Because I’m alive!”
I didn’t tell the curious gentleman that I didn’t always like my life and that during a deep depression, I seriously considered ending it. I also didn’t tell him that I used to “reward” myself with food, alcohol, cigarettes, and fruitless searches for love in unhealthy places.
What changed all that?
The short answer is “A miracle.”
The longer one is that I go on nature walks and retreats, receive massages and acupuncture , eat and sleep well, abstain from alcohol and caffeine, practice yoga , meditate , paint, journal, sing, dance and yes, regularly buy myself flowers. I also visit and call loving friends, attend inspiring workshops, work with excellent coaches , therapists and mentors, take good care of my home, and read uplifting books and poems. I’ve also benefited greatly from 12-step principles , and I am deeply committed to the awesome responsibility of raising my daughter and being of service to women eager to bloom in soil watered with tears but also a refreshing, healing rain.
In a way I did end my life – the one where I didn’t notice, much less appreciate, the beauty around and within me. In its place is an entirely new one, overflowing with color, gratitude and love. And the even greater miracle is that this new life is available to anyone who wants to live it, one courageous, self-loving choice at a time.
So go ahead and nurture yourself with roses, lilies or another flower that delights and excites you. Even if things are less than rosy. Especially if things aren’t rosy. Do it every week, and do it because you – and your precious life – are the only occasion you need.