Thanks a bunch
Say it with flowers. Is it just me that sees a bunch of flowers as a sorry attempt to show emotion? Could you just not simply say it? Without flowers? All too often in my life, flowers have been a half assed attempt by a man to say I love you, I’m sorry, let’s have sex or even Goodbye. What do we actually say when we say it with flowers?
My last marriage was punctuated with impressive bouquets. Always 12 red roses because no doubt this psychopath had read somewhere that these flowers symbolised true love. I admit I loved them – and him – at first but over the years, these flowers began to symbolise an apology that never came. After every bout of abusive behaviour, the flowers would arrive and over the years they even began to arrive from other continents where said ex husband was apparently ‘doing business.’
The final bunch went straight into the bin because even though they looked lovely, I would rather have had his half of the mortgage payment.
Reader, we were repossessed.
But at least the bin smelt sweet.
On Mother’s Day, supermarkets now display the most overpriced bunches of wilting, unnaturally dyed flowers ever seen outside of Vegas. This can only mean one thing. Men lack the imagination to choose anything else for their mothers. If I am wrong then I apologise. But the evidence is right there next to the cut price donuts. What are these bunches saying to our mothers? Are we just too busy to care?
If I had not failed
Having finished tutoring a client’s son, I commented on the beautiful bunch of flowers in the kitchen. Multicoloured roses for her 27th wedding anniversary. This stopped me in my tracks and the striking floral image reappeared at 3am. Yes this woman had been married 27 years and I did the maths. She was me if I had not failed. If I had not failed, it would be me standing there in that beautiful kitchen with a steady dual income, photographs of my children on the wall as babies and a pension pot swelling in the bank. This woman was the woman I could have been. If I had not failed.
These flowers haunted me that night just as the ‘Sorry’ flowers and the ‘I love you ‘ flowers had all those years ago. These flowers were ‘I could have been a Winner’ flowers. I wanted those flowers – and the success that went with it.
I wanted not to have failed.
What did I do with that feeling? For 2 decades I had reached for a bottle when I had had that feeling or called a new man.
This time I did nothing.
Sit with it
I sat with that feeling and then I began to question it. Why did I see myself as a failure? My marriage was – but I wasn’t. In fact I had survived a really nasty experience and although I had no flowers and no home to call my own I could have bought myself sa bunch if I had wished. Why did I create a fantasy marriage in my head? She may have been happy, she may have been miserable. Why did I need to create some perfect marriage and then mock myself for never having attained it? My perfectionism crucifies me.
The 361 recovery programme helps me in real time as I devise and teach it.
I am learning too.
It has been created from real life experiences and these real feelings of loss that can hit us 20 years later.
Keep on learning
Loss is a series of unexploded mines. Loss is unpredictable.
The 361 helps you to see your strengths and to meet and clearly evaluate your failures without all the negative self talk that often goes with them. Failure teaches us more – you know that. You feel that in your bones. The 361 helps you to express what you already know. I don’t need those flowers. They were a mine that I have detonated with the right questions. I know that my mind creates these fantasy images. I don’t know why but I will – if I keep on learning. The 361 is a daily practice that helps you with moments like these. Moments I have too. The 361 helps you to stop and smell the flowers – even if they are not for you. Find the one. The 361.
Rule Number One – Always stop to smell the flowers.
Alice Smith 2019
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