We Can Only Change Ourselves

I have a little ritual when I plant flowers. I   plant in the ground and push the dirt around it and then I say to myself or out loud (depends if they neighbors are outside), “grow plants grow!” I somehow believe even plants need a little encouragement! 

I feel so hopeful every spring when I plant flowers. My ego wants to believe that those 3 encouraging words inspire growth. I have been gardening for a long time and I am not naive to believe my words have anything to do with creating strong, sturdy plants. Plants need the right conditions to grow.

People, not unlike plants, also need the right conditions to grow. Perhaps, you have been gently nudging someone like your husband, child, or co-worker to grow. Fill in the blank, “grow,____, grow”! How is it working for you? 

I have learned the hard way through my relationship challenges that I can’t change anyone, I can only change myself. Just like I can’t force a plant to grow, I can’t force growth in others. I can encourage growth but I can’t make it happen. Fortunately, I can trust in the Divine’s perfect timing to create the perfect conditions for plants and people growth.  Season after season, I utter the same 3 words but this year I became aware maybe these words are meant to seep into my own soul, “Grow Trina, Grow!” Because like I said, we can’t change anyone we can only change ourselves. 

Are you willing to grow as a result of the hard things you are experiencing? What is life trying to teach you?

Meet My Inspiring 9/11 Friend

Without hesitation, she said, “I’ll go with you!” It was those words that jump started my friendship with Erin, a.k.a my 9/11 friend. 

I call her my 9/11 friend because we met on Sept. 11, 2001, the infamous day of the worst terrorist attack on US soil. A week after I met Erin, I was expressing to a small group of women, including Erin, my feelings of anxiousness about traveling to Philadelphia for a cancer treatment appointment. I was nervous about traveling to Philly because I feared it was going to be the next major city on the terrorist’s hit list. It seemed like before I was even finished talking she said, “I’ll go with you!”

What a comfort to hear her say, “I’ll go with you!”  I was a bit surprised that someone I only met the week before would be willing to head into possible danger with me! She was braver than me and not intimidated by my fears. She didn't even seem to be concerned about spending a 2 hour drive with an almost complete stranger. She was willing to show up and go with me!

After spending the day together at my appointment we became fast friends. She became the friend, that I told my mentor just a month before, that I longed to meet. 

Every day I am inspired by Erin's words, “I’ll go with you!”. Her simple, vulnerable, without hesitation words inspire me to be open, to offer who I am to whatever situation I find myself in, to be present and to be willing to be uncomfortable!

This year, on the morning of Sept 11, Erin texted me these words, “Remembering our first moment of meeting 14 years ago today. A true metaphor for life’s reminder of the tension we feel at any given moment - utter sadness when tragedy moves and grateful joy when true friendship enters. Much love to you, my forever friend.”

I am so grateful that Erin said, “I’ll go with you” and she opened the door to a true friendship. 

Who inspires you? In what ways, do you show up for others?