“A certain man planted a rose and watered it faithfully, and before it blossomed he examined it. He saw the bud that would soon blossom – and also the thorns. And he thought, “How can any beautiful flower come from a plant burdened with so many sharp thorns?” Saddened by this thought, he neglected to water the rose, and before it was able to bloom, it died…
“So it is with many people. Within every soul there is a rose – the God like qualities planted in us at birth – growing amid the thorns of our faults. Many of us look at ourselves and see only the thorns, the defects. We despair, thinking that nothing good can possibly come from us. We neglect to water the good within us, and eventually it dies. We never realize our potential.
“Some people do not see the rose within themselves; someone else must show it to them. One of the Savior’s greatest characteristics was that He was able to show people the kingdom of heaven within them. He was able to reach past their thorns and show them the rose.
“This is the characteristic of love – to look at a person, and, knowing his faults, recognize the nobility in his soul, and help him realize that he can overcome his faults. If we show him the rose, he will conquer the thorns, then will he blossom, bringing forth thirty, sixty, or a hundred-fold as it is given to him.
“Our duty in this world is to help our brothers and sisters by showing them their roses and not their thorns. Only then can we achieve the love the Savior wants us to feel for each other; only then can we become perfect as He wants us to be and blossom in the garden of His Father.” (Author Unknown)
I have read this parable more times than I can remember, especially while in my youth and while I was in my early twenties in college.
This story has always been one of my favorites and I wish I could remember where I received it. Quite frankly I have no recollection how it got into my hands. My mother might have given it to me during my teenage years, but that is only a guess.
Regardless of where it comes from, though, it has left a powerful impact on my life. Whenever I start feeling discouraged about who I am … or in some cases who I am not … because all I can see are my sharp and ragged thorns, I stop and remember the lesson from this story – that with God’s help I can conquer and overcome my weaknesses and then blossom and reach my own, unique and full potential.
What a beautiful gift this is from God, to be able to see ourselves the way He sees us. It is a gift we all can have, one we all deserve. It will just take time and patience to fully unwrap. And of course once unwrapped, we will need to learn to keep it that way.
As a mother, I want to give this gift to my children. I want to teach my kids at an early and tender age how to see all the good they possess within them. They are full of divine nature, full of potential, they only need to believe in themselves so they can discover what their life is truly all about it.
This means I need to be careful with the words I speak to them. This means I need to be careful with the messages I send them. This means I need to teach them how to choose wisely. This means I need to provide a constant example. This means I need to be proactive in helping them achieve all they are meant to achieve.
What a daunting task God has asked of all us mothers, but with His help, we can do it. He has entrusted these little ones in our care and consequently He will give us all the positive and loving tools we need to raise them.
Will it still be difficult? Yes.
Will we make mistakes? Yes.
Will we at times feel like we are scarring our kids for life? Yes.
Will we need to seek forgiveness along the journey? Yes.
Will He need to show us along the way our own roses amidst the thorns? Yes.
But this path will be so worth it. And the benefits it will bring, both personally and for others, will be far reaching and glorious.
For more posts about children and self esteem, please visit the Self Esteem Carnival hosted by Lords of the Manor.