Think, for a moment, of a flower in bloom. If you’re not allergic to pollen, you may find it a calming, pleasant thought to hold in mind. The beautiful colors of the petals and the sweet smell of the bloom are quite nice, and the symbolism of a flower in bloom may also hold some appeal—thoughts of springtime freshness and cool breezes, bouquets and laughter may accompany this image.
What does it mean for a human to “bloom”?
For a person, “blooming” means the same thing it does for a flower—at least on the outside. To bloom is to reach the state of maturity where you are able to open up and be your authentic self. It means showing the world all of the parts that make up your proverbial petals, and doing away with dishonesty and inauthenticity brought about by fear. Instead of hiding who you are and projecting a false image due to fear of judgment or consequence, you embrace who you are and allow those you know to see it, flaws and all.
Why “blooming” can be so tough to do
We are often socially programmed to behave in certain ways. While this is quite useful and prosocial in many cases (i.e., “don’t shout obscenities at the top of your lungs in public”), other societal messages we receive can cause us to lose touch with our authentic selves. Instead of following the beat of our own drum, we may instead force ourselves into behavioral molds that never quite feel comfortable in (for a super-simplistic example, wanting to shave your hair off but avoiding it because you’re afraid your friends or colleagues would give you a hard time).
Do your thing, and stretch out those petals!
Instead of letting fear overtake you and giving in to anxiety over what could be, take an inventory of what being you means—and live your life. I’m not saying to throw caution to the wind and do whatever takes your fancy, but rather, to take a look at what your authentic self is, and making a promise to yourself to embody that. Rather than living your life according to someone else’s standards, live up to your standards. You may face adversity when you stop being a people-pleaser and start reflecting your own inner self, but it will be worth it, in the end. The freedom that comes from being honestly and truly you is a wonderful feeling, even though it isn’t always easy. So, be yourself—and bloom.