It's nearly spring in Portland and there are blossoms on trees starting to open up all around—crocuses pushing their way out of the ground—and the colors are spectacular. I try to be mindful of their beauty, as I take it all in, but, what I notice is not just the things in bloom, but all of the trees and bushes and flowers that have yet to open up. They're still waiting to bloom in their own time.
Tomorrow is the last day of the outpatient therapy program for me, and I'm thinking of all of the beautiful people that I've met there. Most of the program is focused around group therapy. And, I'll be honest: in the beginning, I had no idea if I'd be able to connect with the group of people I was assigned to join. They all seemed scary to me. They all seemed unsafe. And I certainly didn't think that they would be people who could change my life. But they did.
The truth is, all the success and joy I was bragging about in my last post wasn't created in a vacuum. Yes, I had to show up each day and do some hard work myself, but much of my success was due to my group therapy sessions. At some point, I stopped dragging my feet about opening up in group, and also (maybe more importantly so) letting these people be a part of my life. Once I uncrossed my arms and really listened to each person, I found out that they each had something very important to share with me: whether it was a story, advice, words of wisdom, a smile, a drawing, a deep breath, a hug, or a laugh. Every single one of these people touched me in some way, and I'll be forever grateful to them; they gave me the gift of joy.
Tomorrow, I'll have to say "goodbye" to all of these kind people, and my heart feels a little sad. But, instead of dwelling on that, I want to say this to the group: when I look at each one of you, I see you as a tree. You have deep roots with a solid trunk, and branches that reach up to the sky. You are strong. You are beautiful. You are part of a great group of trees that you can lean on if you sway. And each one of you has blossoms. They may not have all opened up yet, but I know, soon, each one of you will bloom. And it will be spectacular.
Since this has probably sounded as Breakfast Club-y as humanly possible, there is only one possible way to end this post, and that is with this:
Take care, room number you-know-what...and don't forget about me.