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FACE FRONT - Roses or Thorns?

Two years ago I started a garden. It's a little garden, and I love it.  For as long as I can remember, I have dreamed of having a rose garden burgeoning with blossoms that would fill my house with flowers. So, last January I set off to Walter Anderson's Nursery and picked out as many bare root rose bushes that would fit in my car (actually is was two car loads!).  I didn't know anything about the roses except what their blooms would like when they bloomed in the summer.

A couple of weeks ago I was pruning my "Marilyn Monroe" rose bush and I reached my arm just a little close to it and was impaled by a GIANT thorn.  It ripped my skin and broke off in my arm.  Yikes! Not fun.

It was only then that I noticed just how aggressive the thorns are on that bush. Just about every inch of the stems are covered in giant thorns; they look like giant shark teeth all over it.  When I stepped back and looked at the bush as a whole, it looked like a giant king crab coming out of the earth.  

I have always been focused on the blossoms of the roses not their thorns, but I started to notice that not all of the bushes have thorns like that. Actually, the 3 roses that I most recently added to the garden have no thorns at all. The stems are smooth, and thin and tender, and grow the perfect length for a vase.  The roses are delicate and lush and smell so sweet. The Marilyn Monroe that just drew my blood produces enormous blossoms that are knock-outs, but the stems are short and they don't fit in a vase very well. 

I don't know about you, but these past two months have caused me to really evaluate many of the "blossoms and thorns" in my life. And, this realization of the rose thorns was the perfect metaphor.  I never would have considered the differences in the thorns had I not had a painful experience that made me pause, just as I was not considering many parts of my life that were right in front of me and totally unnoticed. 

I realize we have been living in a bit of a controlled environment lately (even though it feels out of control at times). What I mean is, all of a sudden our lives and how we operate in the world really changed and we had no choice but to assess and adjust.  And, for many of us the "downtime" has given us the rare opportunity to make some great changes and realign our priorities.

In our temporary controlled environments it is easy to say "from now on I will...and from now on I won't...." but putting the new ideals into practice as we begin to shift again - is going to be easier said than done.  It is going to require making new choices, reinforcing our new choices with new decisions, and a strong commitment to our uphold our decisions.   

Here's are some of the things I have decided:  there are a lot of things I used to do - and not do - that I won't be taking forward with me in this newly changed reality.  I won't be saying yes to things I really don't want to do. I won't run around "busy" filling up my time with tasks, while being disappointed with myself for not working on what I really want to work on.  I won't be scared to share what I want to share.  I won't procrastinate on the little things and make them take longer than they need to. I won't say I don't have time for exercise.  I will work on my confidence.  I will get out of my comfort zone. I will use my time as I really want to. I will pursue the big and exciting dreams I have.  I will make a greater impact to serve the world.

Have you made any decisions about things you want to change?  Improvements to your life you want to bring forward?  Things from your old life you want to leave behind?

We have all heard terms like "the new normal" and we know we can't go "back to normal." However, if we are going to make lasting changes - change has nothing to do with finding "normal"  it has everything to do with moving forward.  In order for move forward, we have to FACE FRONT.   

What is in FRONT of us? 

What is in FRONT of you? 

The most exciting thing is that what is in front of us could truly be ANYTHING! And, the only thing we can really do is Face Front and choose: do we want thorns, or no thorns as we move forward.

So, facing front I am deciding to pull the roses that have too many thorns from my garden.  It might be hard, and I might get scratched, and for a while there will be a gaping hole. But, I will replace them intentionally with the thorn-free, long stemmed, delicate rose bushes, nurture the new roses while they take root and get stronger, and cultivate a new version of my garden...and my life.

How about you?

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