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Reflections: Know Yourself and Bloom Where You Are…

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“Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind. Absolve you to yourself, and you shall have the suffrage of the world.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

Reflections: Know Yourself and Bloom Where You Are... Unfurl when you're ready

As Oscar Wilde once said, “The final mystery is oneself.”  If we don’t spend time working on ourselves and developing a clear picture of who we are, blooming where we are,  then it becomes easy for us to get carried away by every parade that comes to town. When I started blogging, a few well meaning folks had some great ideas on what my blog should be or what I should write about. I appreciated the good intentions but knew, in my heart, that I had to work with what I know, struggle  and develop my blog at a pace that fit in with the other demands on my life.

The war within was either to honor what I knew, work with it and grow from that vantage point or accept what was suggested and possibly fizzle out. It became a struggle of sorts; an inner battle. On reflection, over time, it became apparent that the only war worth fighting is the war to know thyself; to assert your purpose in life and honor who you are. I had to ask myself the question: What do I know about this?

#Trust30 is an online initiative and 30-day writing challenge. The #Trust30 Prompt: We live in a society of advice columns, experts and make-over shows. Without even knowing it, you can begin to believe someone knows better than you how to live your life. For today, try asking yourself often, especially before you make a choice, “What do I know about this?”

By the same token, when we are approached to do something, instead of always jumping in feet first (there are things we should definitely jump on, but not everything), we should look within and honestly assess our commitment to the idea. Does it fit our idea of who we are and what do we know about this? Some of us are late bloomers and that is fine. We all have our time in the sun and when we are ready, we bloom. We need to know this inside; have it resonate deep in our bones and not let others dictate it to us. Our time and our growth is our gift to ourselves… let’s cherish it.

Below, I have added a popular story, The Butterfly, it speaks to the fact that for everything there is a season and that our time in the cocoon is a time of reflection, self analysis and growth. Forcing a birth or a rebirth can produce disastrous results. We learn many lessons as we mature and even though we don’t always have answers for life’s many experiences, it can’t hurt to ask the question: What do I know about this? What do you think? More below… 🙂

“Confront the dark parts of yourself, and work to banish them with illumination and forgiveness. Your willingness to wrestle with your demons will cause your angels to sing. Use the pain as fuel, as a reminder of your strength.” August Wilson

Reflections: Know Yourself and Bloom Where You Are... when you're ready... bloom

The Butterfly by Author Unknown
A man found a cocoon of a butterfly. One day a small opening appeared. He sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through that little hole. Then it seemed to stop making any progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could, and it could go no further.
So the man decided to help the butterfly. He took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon.
The butterfly then emerged easily. But it had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings.
The man continued to watch the butterfly because he expected that, at any moment, the wings would enlarge and expand to be able to support the body, which would contract in time.
Neither happened! In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings. It never was able to fly.
What the man, in his kindness and haste, did not understand was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the butterfly to get through the tiny opening were God‘s way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon.

We struggle with decisions everyday, and until we take a position about how to handle our lives and the events around it, we are swayed by the opinions and views of others… some well meaning and some not. We have to decide; which we can when we know who we are – our strengths, our weaknesses and our limits. Sure, we can do many things, but we can’t do everything or even be everything to everybody… It is simply not humanly possible.

As we work our way out of the cocoon, it will help to ask What do I know about this? What are your thoughts? What war rages in your heart around your dreams? Do you sometimes feel pushed ahead or pulled back by others views of your work? What is worth fighting for within yourself? Do share! Thank you. 😉

This post was inspired by two prompts from WP Daily Post: What war is worth fighting for? and For today, try asking yourself often, especially before you make a choice, “What do I know about this?”

Positive Motivation Tip: Everyone has their moment in the sun and should savor it.. When we are ready to bloom we will.

PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: Photo of Rose Bloom  and Butterfly via Wikipedia. Story is courtesy of

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet

24 Comments leave one →
  1. 21/06/2011 12:13 am

    Eliz-wow yes you have said it- working on yourself. Each person blooms differently, and
    we have to accept ourselves where we are and where we are planted: whether it is a job, relationship, career, house, apt, or what have you. Blooming like the summer flowers that start out as a seed, them slowly grows and develops into a full bloomed Flower.
    a poem I wrote to apply to this:


    You have touched somewhere inside of me,
    And helped me believe in my dreams.
    You draw them out of their hiding places,
    And gave me the courage to think,
    that you think that they are possible.
    You believe in me,
    Encouraged me,
    What more can one do for another
    Than to help them learn to believe,
    in themselves?

  2. 21/06/2011 12:33 am

    When we accept ourselves where we are, it can open new doors for our growth because we are at peace and more amenable to promptings… Constantly fighting against our own design creates more chaos… I really believe that. 🙂
    What a beautiful poem Jackie… Now that is one of your special gifts and I love reading your poems… Thanks for your comment. 🙂

  3. 21/06/2011 2:20 am

    Wonderful post Eliz. I love the story of the butterfly. It teaches us not to interfere in what we know nothing about, even though we think we are helping; the consequences could be tragic – as in this case.
    We need to know ourselves and know where we are in life; we are not all the same, we bloom at different stages. We all need our own time to shine as it were, not hurried but we will bloom when we are ready.

  4. 21/06/2011 2:45 am

    This is an amazing post and exactly the words I had to find. It is a continuous journey, the struggles of which strengthen us. Thank you yet again!

  5. 21/06/2011 3:46 am

    very good essay on this topic! congrats!
    what makes me find my inner voice:
    “Use the pain as fuel,
    as a reminder of your strength.”
    August Wilson
    thanks for that quotation,
    makes clear some structures
    of creative thinking!

  6. 21/06/2011 4:27 am

    dear Eliz,
    thank you for inspiring me to post on this.

  7. 21/06/2011 7:34 am

    Love the butterfly. Each of us have the capability to blossom into someone beautiful. It’s important to be ourself, and to be of our own design. We each have a unique feature that carries us through life. We each know our weaknesses and our strengths. We can do many things, but we can’t do everything or even be everything to everybody… It is simply not humanly possible. Great Post !! 🙂

  8. 21/06/2011 7:38 am

    What a great story. It reminded me of Winston Churchill’s quote.
    “There is nothing wrong with change, if it is in the right direction”
    Great post Elizabeth! 🙂

  9. 21/06/2011 10:47 am

    I sometimes feel like a nutcake on a plate of fruitcakes or vise-versa, probably because I am, but that’s okay! Sometimes, though I have a hard time dealing with being so peculiar. Thankfully I have friends and family who support my peculiar-ness. Thanks for a lovely post. The butterfly story made me cry.

  10. 21/06/2011 11:06 am

    “Know Yourself and Bloom Where You Are…”
    A lot of times we get so distracted by the world that we forget why we are here in the first place, of what’s our main purpose in this world. Blocking the distractions will open a different door that leads to self discover and understanding our goals and missions in life. And once we get a grasp of who we are and what we’re here for, we can then bloom and bear fruits of good deeds and positive change to others. Elizabeth, you always make me reflect in important issues in life. thank you.

  11. 21/06/2011 11:48 am

    That butterfly story is fabulous! I wish I could go back in time and tell it to the me of 20, so she’d have it on hand in some uncomfortable conversations. Then again, perhaps not having the story was part of my working my way out of my own cocoon . . . ?

    I’m going to have to reflect on your questions. I feel like there’s an answer trying to emerge, but I can’t quite figure out what it is!

  12. 21/06/2011 1:28 pm

    Love it!

    WHEN we know WHO we are . . . we know HOW (and WHERE) to live without relying on WHAT others want us to be, do or say. 😀

  13. 21/06/2011 1:28 pm

    What a beautiful post. For each of us, I think it carries different twists. You have the talent to draw them out of each of us Elizabeth. Truly, your soul is that of an inspirational teacher and thought provoker!

    For me, the butterfly story applies to my constant overprotective nature towards my son. I want to help him as he struggles with his disability daily but I know I must allow him to do things for himself so he can emerge from his own cocoon fully and in as independent a manner as possible. Thanks, Elizabeth for weaving the two prompts together with such finesse!

  14. 21/06/2011 2:22 pm

    As pointed out by several people who commented, you touch us all with your posts. I’m in the cocoon right now and trying, really trying to honor the expression — it’s not the destination, it’s the journey.
    Being in the cocoon or the valley is where I retreat when I know it’s time to grow, to move forward with confidence into a new phase. It’s where I’m fortified.
    I’ve tried to listen to the voice within because it’s the only one I know, it’s the only one I trust, it’s the only one that knows what’s best for me. Sometimes, I don’t listen and end up with regrets, anger, disappointment, mostly at myself because I should know better.
    Thanks, Elizabeth, you’re a wise old soul who’s purpose is to minister to all who read and hear your words.

  15. 21/06/2011 2:46 pm

    Very beautifully written Eliz. The butterfly story is amazing and a great teaching point. I sometimes interfere in the name of trying to help. I’ll keep this in mind.


  16. 21/06/2011 6:56 pm

    I am constantly feeling torn between what I want to do with my life and what others want for my life. I know that they have good intentions. But, ultimately, I have to be the one to find my own path. I have to push my own self out of that cocoon!

  17. 21/06/2011 7:46 pm

    Wow, such a great post and something we all need to hear for different reasons.
    It’s hard to see another struggle and you want to help them, but like your butterfly story shows, sometimes you HAVE to let them struggle and figure it out on their own. I think that can almost be like Tough Love in a way.
    And from the other side of things, I know personally people want to help so much and give you all this advice as if they know best but no one can truly know YOU like YOU know yourself so you have to be strong and know when to let others help and when to go it on your own.

  18. 21/06/2011 8:02 pm

    “If we don’t spend time working on ourselves and developing a clear picture of who we are, blooming where we are, then it becomes easy for us to get carried away by every parade that comes to town.”
    You lay it bare with that line.

  19. 21/06/2011 8:43 pm

    I can relate so much to this post, you have no idea. It just about sums up my life and my recent decision to change its course.

    “If we don’t spend time working on ourselves and developing a clear picture of who we are, blooming where we are, then it becomes easy for us to get carried away by every parade that comes to town.” – This is why I suddenly quit my job. I left it last week, and I’m now in the middle of a major career transition. That’s also why I didn’t have time before today to visit your site. I’m in the middle of acquiring projects, one of which I have to do today. I’ll come back to catch up on my reading of the rest of your posts.

    It’s funny, but the realization I’ve had recently is nothing new. It was just a matter of getting enough courage to do what I wanted and knew I had to do. Like you said, our loved ones want the best for us, but they don’t necessarily KNOW what it is.

  20. 23/06/2011 8:05 am

    The butterfly tale is amazing! Thank you for this, Elizabeth.

    Also, I did collect the awards tonight! What a week!

  21. 23/06/2011 5:22 pm

    You visited my site and encouraged me. I was curious enough to come check out your blog. I like it and would like to add a link to it on my site, but wanted to ask first. I have found that gratitude is one of the ingredients for a good life. For three months now I have spent an hour each morning writing about something I am grateful for. Some were deep and quite emotional. Some have been quite ordinary about things usually taken for granted. My gratitude blog has profoundly changed my life! Gratitude multiplies blessings!

    Peace and love


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