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Turning depression around

Green Shoots

on 25/02/2014

I’ve had two potted house plants since I moved last year.  They’re both yellow calla lilies.  At my last address, I had a full garden and for the first time in my life, it was up to me to fill it with flowers of my choosing.  Despite my lack of horticultural knowledge, or perhaps because of it, I was proud of the array of colours and scents they produced.  I didn’t automatically share the same confidence in my abilities with house plants.

Both lilies were in full bloom when they were gifted to me.  Over the weeks that followed, they gradually wilted, faded, and dried up, and eventually I only had the soil in their pots as proof that they’d greeted me every morning.  Having successfully grown similar pink lilies from a bulb in my garden, I knew that they should come back this year, but didn’t hold out much hope.

Nonetheless, I’ve placed them on the window ledge daily, in what little daylight and even lesser sunlight we’ve had over the last few months, and I’ve watered them sometimes a little too often.  I’ve done everything I thought I should be doing for them, seeing very little change.

A couple of weeks ago, I noticed minute dots of a vibrant green starting to emerge through the soil.  In one pot, there were many; in the other, very few but larger ones.  With each day, the spread of green in both pots has grown – the first signs of encouragement. 

I’ve started to think of this growth in terms of recovery.  When we’re desperate for reassurance that what we’re doing to help ourselves is taking effect, we can lose patience when we don’t see immediate results and give up or change course.  If I’d allowed myself to be disheartened when the soil bore no indication of progress throughout the worst of the winter months, I wouldn’t be rewarded with the fresh, green shoots that now await me each morning.  Indeed, it would have gone against nature for them to appear any sooner, and I’m sure they wouldn’t have lasted if they had.

What’s been happening is that they’ve been taking root and grounding themselves solidly beneath the surface.  Similarly, the techniques that we employ to help ourselves recover might not immediately achieve the desired effect, but the changes they are effecting are deep-rooted.  If we can identify what feeds our recovery, what sheds a warming light and hydrates our growth, all we can do is continue and do more of the same, until the green shoots appear with the promise of full blooms that we can enjoy fully, for however long they last.

There’s still a difference between my two pots.  One of them continues to bear lots of small shoots that don’t seem to be sprouting very highly.  Yet.  The other has two or three thicker, stronger, taller shoots that are standing proud, but alone.  Whether your recovery has multiple small shoots or solitary, resilient ones, keep doing what you’re doing to encourage the growth you’ve already allowed to start, and you’ll be rewarded with a life in full bloom again.

One last thought.  If your blooms of recovery start to wither, remember that the green shoots are an inevitable part of the cycle.  We weren’t made to be unhappy.

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