By Dr. Marta Adelsman
Life Coach in Communication and Consciousness
(March 11, 2019)
In her book, My Grandfather’s Blessings, best-selling author and medical doctor, Rachel Naomi Remen, related a disturbing dream. Profound in its simplicity, the dream contained a single image: a daffodil bulb buried in the earth with a rock perched heavily on the soil over the bulb. The rock prevented the bulb from growing and blooming.
I first heard of and read this story last year, and then recently I read it again. Both times, I had an emotional reaction of deep sadness. You see, I was that bulb.
As a child, I received messages that it is not okay to bloom. Maybe my father wanted to protect me. Maybe, as the rock, he had been tossed and hurled and smashed and broken, and he wanted to spare me the same. Perhaps he felt jealous. Whatever the reason, I completely identified with that bulb.
As an adult, because of childhood messages, fear often overwhelms me when I imagine growing my writing gifts and stepping onto a bigger stage. Inspired by how Rachel wrote of an imagined conversation between the rock and the bulb, I imagined a similar conversation:
“Why are you blocking the sun and preventing me from growing and blooming?”
“Because the world is a dangerous, unsafe place, and I need to protect you.”
“But it’s my destiny–my purpose–to bloom! I want to give my gifts to the world!”
At this point I see the little daffodil bulb shedding silent tears. She fears the rock, with its seeming good intentions, might smother and crush her life.
The story does not end here. Weeks after her dream, Rachel sought medical help for pain which she came to associate with the dream. During an acupuncture treatment, she had an image of the rock slowly morphing into a greenhouse. It transformed from a stifling protector into a nurturing one. Still shielding the bulb from a harsh environment, it provided the ideal space for the bulb to bloom into a beautiful daffodil, fulfilling its destiny and bringing joy and beauty for others to enjoy.
The past can often leave us with psychological and emotional weights and beliefs that stifle us. Long after the situations and their danger have passed, we carry crushing thoughts and attitudes toward ourselves. When we gaze into our true nature and inquire about the legitimacy of that weight, we see the falsehood of our limiting beliefs. We understand we have embraced them in error, that they never represented reality.
What rock-like beliefs stifle your ability to bloom and shine? Can you allow the rock to become your greenhouse, protecting you from all that would keep you buried and small?
Anais Nin wrote, “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”
Maybe it’s time to bring your gifts into the world.