three snails on pavement moving toward a finish line

Healing is not a race

Image by Michal Jarmoluk from Pixabay

One of my greatest delights is watching the various spring bulbs emerge and bloom across my yard this time of year. The crocuses lead the way each year, followed by the daffodils, the hyacinths, and the tulips.

Every year, no matter how impatient I am, they emerge and bloom when they are ready. Each plant does its thing in its own time depending on its location, circumstances, and resources available to it.

Some bloom early; others bloom a bit later. Some bloom prolifically; others have only a few flowers. Each one does its own thing in its own time without any competition with or comparison to the plant of the same type blooming right next to it.

They aren’t in a race. They feel no pressure to measure up to whatever the plant next to them might be doing.

I could stand to learn from them. I so easily allow too much of my energy to get caught up in comparing how I’m doing with others.

When I get impatient about what needs to heal or emerge or blossom in my own life (and let’s face it, that’s most of the time!), I start finding examples of others who seem to be accomplishing those things faster than me (or better than me or with more grace and ease than me).

I compare my progress (or lack of it) as if I’m in a race and need to catch up with the runners ahead of me to win the prize. Of course, that ignores all of the things about my particular history, situation, circumstances, personality, or available resources that make my experience completely different from theirs.

Invariably all I wind up doing is discouraging myself and making it that much harder for me to put my energy toward what really matters. It slows me down, trips me up, and drains my spirit.

Can you relate?

I do so much better when I stay focused on where I am, what I’m doing, and how I can best support my continued growth and healing without trying to turn it into a race with anyone else.

When I’m in that space, I can allow the blossoms and new growth of the people around me to inspire me with their beauty without feeling pressured to be where they are.

That freedom to be and grow and heal unhurried by comparison with others or my expectations or the expectations of others sets my spirit free to blossom as it will with all the energy it has, and it sets me free to put my energy into maximizing my resources to best fuel that growth.

May I become ever more like the flowering spring bulbs that inspire me!


How do you trip yourself up by comparing your growth and healing to others?

What aspects of your growth and healing are you most likely to compare or turn into a race?

How does this tendency affect you? How does it affect the growth or healing that you are focused on?

What would it be like to let go of the idea that it’s a race and focus on maximizing your available resources instead? How might that feel?

What resources might you focus on today to move in that direction?

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