When I was in graduate school in Colorado, I had no money.
My tuition was paid for and I had a monthly stipend, but that just covered my room and board. If I wanted to go out or spend money on anything extra I had to find a way to earn it. Since I was a full-time student and worked in the lab, there was not much time.
I also met Beth during this time, so I needed some money for one of our dates.
At the beginning of my second year, I needed some money. I don’t remember why, but I’m going to assume it was to spend more time with Beth (since I don’t have any specific memories, I can make them up as I go!).
We were approaching Mother’s Day and I figured the local florists could use some extra help. This was way before the gig economy.
I went to a nearby FTD florist and asked if I could deliver flowers. This was probably one of the first times I had been inside a florist. Sure, I’ve ordered flowers before, but to actually go inside and see what was there seemed unnecessary because I could just call them.
I guess I was the only one who ever walked in asking for temporary work because they were like, “Wow, yeah, we could really use the help this weekend. How did you know?”
Just like that, I got a job for the weekend, and as it turned out, for as long as I wanted it.
Delivering all those flowers was so much fun – especially on Mother’s Day.
Imagine someone opening the door and seeing you standing there with a big bouquet of flowers. They open the door, see the flowers and start smiling with their whole body. They can’t help but be happy when they see you and the flowers just standing there. That’s what it felt like every time I knocked on someone’s door that day.
I bring up this story because I had the opportunity to deliver flowers again this past weekend. Beth and I attended the 80th birthday of a dear family friend in St. Louis, Missouri. Since we were considered part of the extended family, we helped set up and take down all the decorations.
As the event was winding down, I asked what were they going to do with the beautiful flower centerpieces. These bouquets were gorgeous. My mother-in-law helped make them from hydrangeas, ranunculus, hypericum and billy balls (I had to ask Beth for all those names).
There were no plans for the bouquets after the evening, so I decided to give some of them away. I remembered the warm feelings on Mother’s Day so many years ago.
I took one of the floral arrangements and walked to a nearby outdoor restaurant. I went over to a couple sitting and asked the gentleman if he would like the flower. “No thanks,” he said.
What? I thought to myself. How could anyone not like getting these flowers!?
Next, I appealed to his date. “Sure!!” she enthused.
That’s more like it. That was the reaction I was hoping for!
After repeating this process a few more times, getting the “No” from him and the “Yes” from her, I started to think about why someone would refuse such a beautiful flower bouquet.
I realized it was fear.
Many of us are afraid of the unknown. We are afraid if we let someone get too close, we might get hurt. We’re afraid there is a hidden agenda. Maybe I was going to start with flowers and end up offering them an opportunity to help me transfer money for my Nigerian relatives.
Some amount of fear is healthy. We don’t want to run out in traffic or fall off a cliff, but how much fear is too much?
Both Beth and I have more fear in our life than we’d like, and we frequently talk about how much is too much. We realize there is no formula or even a rule of thumb, but there is a wonderfully simple way of knowing. Follow your intuition and trust yourself.
Our life is a reflection of our thoughts, beliefs, and feelings. In other words, nothing happens to us, we create it.
Beth and I are getting better, but we are not always thinking positive and supportive thoughts. As a result, some of what we experience is less than what we would like it to be, but today we are more inclined to trust ourselves than we have in the past. We still use common sense to make decisions and increasingly, we trust our intuition to choose effectively.
Trusting yourself is essential to living the life you want. Not necessarily trusting others, but trusting yourself!
What would you do if someone walked up to you and offered flowers? Do you trust yourself enough to accept them?