Instead I was left a complete but closed bud for the whole of my childhood, teens and twenties. Of course I stood out as ‘different’ but my difference was never the subject of enquiry. Easily explained away by the unhelpful strategies my parents adopted to further strengthen the closure of their own armoured buds.
On birthing little closed buds of my own, wrapped in their own unique expressions of difference – I too saw how closed they were. Initially I tried to force their buds open…I knew there was no need to conceal their beautiful differences because I understood that what I saw in them was the difference I also held within me – I wanted them to open their buds for the world to see because I thought that they were so incredibly beautiful.
But the truth is that they had learnt to conceal their difference in the same way the generations of closed buds had done before them.
We see the other buds who do not carry this difference and as they grow their petals start to open – open for the world to see. But for us different buds we know that the colours held within us are not the same. We suffer in silence, we keep our buds closed, we do not talk about our struggle with sights, lights and sounds. We get through our day tightening our buds, concealing our difference and harbouring it as our own personal secret.
We are different but we do not tell.
We do not tell you what our everyday day is like because we are scared that in disclosing our differences you will dislike what you see!
So we hide within ourselves.
As I watched my own little buds concealing their true self like their parents and grandparents before them I thought to myself…how do I teach you to bloom?…how do I help you to see that your colours may be different to many of the other buds but your colours within you are beautiful and bright?
I then took a look at myself and I realised…
I am just another tightly closed bud. In this realisation I learnt that you can not teach other closed buds to bloom without blooming yourself first.
I had to take it a petal at a time.
I learnt about my expression of difference little by little and then slowly showed it to the world. This was extremely painful at first because my bud had been closed for far longer than what was intended – but by exploring myself and using strategies to help me throughout my day – I slowly started the blooming process.
The process that everyone with the same coloured petals seemed to have done years ago, but non the less I was at last starting to bloom.