Mental Health

Lesson from Lilies

When my grandmother died. We kept the peace lilies people bought for her. We still have all of them to this day, almost five years later. Wow. It has almost been five years since you left us to be at peace.

When I moved out on my own as a “full adult,” I wanted to take one of the lilies with me, take a piece of my Nanna with me.

(I still don’t think I’m a full adult. Do we ever become truly responsible for ourselves? I don’t think anyone ever has it figured out, ever truly feels in control. I don’t think everyone ever can be fully in control. Maybe being mature is knowing this).

My mother told me to never let the lily die; it would be like letting her die all over again. I took those words to heart and managed to keep it alive, despite the lack of light allowed in my dreary dwelling. Among the other plants I had to not survive Georgia, she survived.

But I see the other lilies my mom kept in her house full of light. She has repotted them, and they are doing more than surviving, they are thriving. Mine that had been kept in the dark for so long, left in the same pot it was originally given to us in, is shrimpy in comparison. Small, with no blooms. It hasn’t bloomed in a long time.

I now know what she needs, but I didn’t know before or was unable to give it to her. She needs more light, and more room to grow.

I killed my other plants by thinking I knew what was best for them. But I loved them too much, drowning them (literally) with care. Knowing when to let go and knowing I am not equipped to solve all problems are some things I’m still working on and learning.

Something else that I’m learning is that I can’t be everything to everybody. Not because I feel like I’m overextending myself, but because I discovered that it’s actually unhealthy to derive my self-worth based on the extent to which people rely on me. Sometimes I am not equipped for their needs, and that’s ok.

by Taylersimon

Nerdy black woman in search of social liberation for all. My hobbies include books, laughing at memes, and calculating birth charts. You can find my ramblings on my blog itslitbooks.net


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