A Life Lesson From My Rotted Succulent
My history with plants…
It’s taken many years and multiple dead plants to finally feel like I’ve got a partial green thumb. When the succulent craze came about, I made sure to purchase two beautiful ones at IKEA. Just certain I would keep them alive, I read all the tips and tricks. Well I was wrong, they both ended up as rotting succulents. Even after attempting again several months later, I still had the same sad results. Dead plants with rotted roots. Until this year.
I restarted with an aloe plant and this succulent above that Mike and the boys bought me for my birthday. Feeling extremely confident and downright amazed, I knew this was my season. This time was different! Talked to my mom, a few plant trusty friends, and researched so I could stay on top of things.
It was going well until…
Several months went by, and the plant began to look swollen and limp…crap. At first I got angry, because I really didn’t want another rotting succulent on my hands. Then I got worried – checking, rechecking, and asking what the heck was wrong. I wasn’t watering it allz the time (I was keeping a tight schedule). Nor was I touching it, and most definitely I was making sure tiny little hands weren’t bothering it either…in spite of what I checked off I couldn’t figure it out. So the final decision was to replant it.
I will tell you as soon as I removed the plant it was completely saturated with water! The entire root system soaking as if I let it sit in a pool. I literally was squeezing out as much water as I could while keeping the roots intact. It was so devastating, because I didn’t even catch it. After replanting and removing all the leaves that kept falling off, this is what was left…they’re still shedding.
I’ve always been one to need to share the back story of things (it drives Mike crazy), because everything has an origin. But I more than anything had to share about this plant, because it completely exemplifies where I’ve been. Bottling up emotions, thoughts, frustrations, inner struggles in hopes that they will just subside magically. Truthfully just sitting stagnant in my junk. Because women who overshare are really complaining…and many times when you repeat what’s bothering you it’s because “you’re not over it yet,” or “you’re just sensitive.” So as others don’t make the space, your circle of expression can diminish without your permission.
Behind the smiles
I know I’m not the only one. The woman who keeps smiling after the stupid argument with her husband while tears are welling up inside, or you lose your complete self after your kid just couldn’t follow instructions after the 27th time (cause 3 times has never worked for my kids), or the one who is sharing amazing advice while you feel the complete opposite of what you’re saying. This isn’t every season, nor is it everyday. But it’s very real and I wasn’t paying attention to the water that wasn’t draining from my roots.
The space and time I haven’t made for myself to process the things that have happened over the last several months. The added stressors that I didn’t know how to say no to, or the tough talks I needed to have, but put off out of fear of the outcome, or just the slowing down so my soul could rest. This year we added so much more to our plate, and some of it I wish I would’ve said no to. Not because we aren’t capable, rather I’m human…with little humans.
As I pruned my plant I knew God was speaking to my heart a truth I had been ignoring in this season. Even what’s unseen is important. Not saying what needs to be said only tears away at you. Sure there are ways to say it, but my lack of speaking up was killing me. Saying no when needed affected not just me, but those closest to me. Am I completely worn down like my plant…emotionally yes. And that’s the most important thing for me right now. I hope to remember this when I’m ready to neglect what’s unseen.