dahlia in my garden: Rio Fuego in Coleus leaves

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Rise to the Challenge: Never Give Up On Yourself

Why is it that we often give up too easily? That we don’t give ourselves one extra push to get past a difficulty that we perceive is too overwhelming? How can we find the faith and confidence to continue?

Just about a year ago I bought a new carnivorous plant: a small Venus flytrap I named Fang. You can read about his introduction into my home in this blog post, “Don’t Isolate Yourself”.  I enjoy the unusual and unique varieties of carnivorous plants, and I didn’t foresee any difficultly in caring for Fang. For some unknown reason, Fang began doing very poorly. A large number of his traps began to turn black and rot away, like some  kind of plant gangrene. In an effort to help him, I resorted to repotting and I wrote about that in a post called, “Sometimes We Need a ‘Jump Start’”.

I had great hope that a change of ‘scenery’ in a new pot would invigorate Fang and he would slowly, over time, replace his blackened traps with new green growth. But it didn’t happen. The downward spiral continued and it wasn’t long before more than half of Fang had turned black. Winter was coming, and I knew that in his weakened condition he couldn’t survive the cold and rain on my deck all season. I can’t have plants inside my home because my cat eats them, so I decided to ask my Mom if Fang could winter in the sunny window of my childhood bedroom. She agreed to take him the next time she came over to our apartment.

However, as the days passed and Fang continued to look worse and worse, I was ready to just throw him out and buy a new venus flytrap in the spring. By the time Mom picked him up, he was almost 3/4 black. I told her just to forget it. Fang seemed to be a lost cause. I almost threw him into compost pile but Mom intervened, saying I had nothing to lose in letting her try to save him. So I told her to go ahead, but not to fret about giving up on him because he would be easy to replace.

Things got busy with the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays and dealing with my very stressful insurance change. I didn't really spare a thought for Fang. Little did I know that with Mom's tender loving care - watering with special filtered water, gently trimming away the blackened traps, and even talking to him (she checks on him every morning, saying "How are you doing little guy?) - Fang was making a miraculous recovery. 

Fang's flower grows up toward the sunlit window.

When I finally went to see him, I was amazed. This ailing plant, which I had completely written off, was not only a vibrant healthy green but had flowered. It was as if Fang reached out toward my Mom’s hope and faith in him, and used it to rise up past his obstacles and display his thanks.

I’m still flabbergasted at Fang’s improvement, and he reminded me of an important lesson. In our society, we so easily dispose of things and replace them without a thought. I think we often take the path of least resistance in many parts of our lives, especially when we are dealing with chronic pain / illness which can take away so much of our energy and focus.

If you are currently struggling with an issue, big or small, which seems too overwhelming to deal with or would just be easier to give up on - think of Fang. Have faith in your ability to overcome problems. Hold out hope your situation will improve if you keep moving forward. Seek guidance from those with the knowledge or power to help you solve the issue at hand. Don’t feel guilty about asking for assistance from those who can support your through the difficulty. 

Rise to your challenges and never give up!

1 comment:

  1. OK...my two cents...that thing called Mother's Love. That is what rescued Fang :-) Look what a fantastic job she did with you, what else would come of Fang moving in with your Mom for a stay :-)

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