The Cactus Blooms Again By: M.M.

I don’t believe in coincidences anymore.

One of the most useful skills I am learning at Rising Roads is how to turn around my thinking. To take my pessimistic thoughts, hit the pause button, stay mindful and turn the page to a clear, more positive thought pattern. It has taken me a long time to get to a place of more understanding, to have a desire to let go of my bad habits – and I connect it all to working on self-esteem.

While I worked on positive affirmations, step work, and therapy, I began to tend to the garden in the backyard. I trimmed, potted, planted, and watered only to find a new hobby that brought me peace, joy, and value. I whispered positive words to the plants telling them they were loved, cute, doing well and so on. When I mentioned this to my therapist, she educated me on the studies done on the positive effects of talking to plants and challenged me to repeat the kind words of love to myself.

I found a cactus, tucked away and neglected, dusty and wilting. I cleaned it, hung it up outside and began to encourage it daily. I repeated these words to myself and checked in on it every morning and started to notice it was perking up and looking healthier. After a few weeks, I saw little buds beginning to form! I was ecstatic.

Around the first week of December, the first bud began to bloom and out of joy I exclaimed to my friends outside that the cactus was blooming. It was in that exact moment that my newfound friend realized with a shock that this cactus was the same plant she had planted a year ago when she first came to Rising Roads. She remembered the plant only blooms once a year in December.

While she had come full circle just in time to see her cactus bloom again, I too had felt a sense of rebirth – one full of growth, change, love, and hope.

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