“A flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it. It just blooms.”
This is one of those IG quotes that makes the rounds on many health and wellness pages. And it bugs me. It makes me think of David Attenborough documentaries where tropical plants claw their way to the top of the canopy, or they force their roots far and wide to ensure nothing else can grow. The whole point of a blooming flower is to win. Whichever is the most colourful, the most attractive to pollinators, will be the most successful at reproducing, which ultimately, is the goal for a plant.
We all have many goals. And I suppose I understand the context of the phrase, that we should just focus on our own journeys and not be swayed by the opinions/success of others. But I believe in healthy competition. If you had no contest, why would you step up and try harder and make things happen for yourself? Even if your competition is yourself, I think it’s beneficial to have a little push to do better and keep moving forward.
I have a tendency towards jealousy, so I have to keep my ambitions in check. I want to achieve so much and sometimes seeing someone else living the life I would love is hard. But burying envy is just as bad as burying anger, or sadness, or any emotion really. If there’s one thing that’s helping me with balancing my mental health, it’s recognising my emotions, feeling them, then letting them go.
I can use the success of others to inspire myself to raise my game. That doesn’t mean attacking people out of jealousy, or getting upset and thinking “I’m not good enough”. I will work hard, I will bloom. But I will be aware of all the other plants and flowers and shrubs in the garden and hope that we all have a wonderful season together.