When walking through the woods I sometimes pluck wildflowers to later place in a vase for house decoration. I feel so attracted to the flowers’ wild beauty that I want them for my own pleasure. Without hesitation I pull them from the soil, severing their roots that connect them to the life-force that makes them beautiful.
By the next day, the flowers fall lifelessly over the sides of the vase, having lost their spirit and vibrancy. As I observe them I remember the day before, where in the sun they were shining, backlit by the rays that fed them life.
That’s what I was taught, after all, that the treasures we find are ours to keep. Attraction alone is permission to claim something your own and then mold it to your own liking. If you love something so much you must take it, I learned, and hold it tightly out of fear that it will be lost.
But fear leads to a desire for control, and control quickly suffocates liberty. Like flowers, each person feels most alive in a particular environment. In the right atmosphere people connect authentically with their raw identities. When under control, typically from external expectations, that connection gradually loosens.
How many people, I wonder, have been plucked from the roots that connect them to their authentic selves – to their primary source of nourishment? How many are wilting in vases that someone else has arranged for their own enjoyment?
When expectations are imposed on someone’s individuality, it’s an attempt to divide them from the very thing that makes them so attractive: their wild nature, where they are free to appear exactly as they are.
Admiration for something beautiful is best achieved by allowing that thing or person to exist without interference. People, like flowers, are meant to blossom in their particular elements where they are most alive. The moment a person is plucked, the wild spirit withers.