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Dear Rose,

You taught me something today.

You taught me about the parts of myself that I have been plucking, and pruning away.

The parts of myself that I wish hadn't happened to me, or I had never done.

You taught me about aging, and aging with awe.

You taught me that there is so much strength, were I had previously only seen beauty.

You are a powerful teacher, and for that I am ever grateful.

Today I was part of a Priestess circle. A gathering of women, who honor themselves, each other and the divine feminine flowing within us all. We gathered to complete a ritual together in honor of the lost aspects of ourselves. The pieces that have been repressed, refused, and denied. The times when our light has dimmed and our world gone dark. The rose was a symbolic representation of the thousand little deaths we experience in our lifetime. Each petal, one of those thousand little deaths.

Because I'm a procrastinator, I had to forage in the anniversary bouquet I received last week from my partner. Initially I was disappointed that my rose was not flower shop ready, and I felt that it wasn't quite what I would have wanted. But, sitting there with the Rose, looking at its wilted, and damaged outer petals, the ones that had begun to turn hard, losing their soft texture, I realized that this Rose was far more than its initial beauty.

This realization showed me how I had been looking at roses my whole life, was how I looked at myself.

The outer petals were the ones that had been exposed to the elements, they were the ones who protected the softer, gentler interior. They had begun to show their age, wilt, and wear. They still showed all the signs of their former beauty, but now they had a job to do. They were the protector, and eventually, they would let go, and the other petals would become prone to wear.

How much of our lives has been spent plucking away the parts of ourselves that have done the work, sat in the fire, learned the hard lessons, only for our present selves to deny that this ever existed. How have we been protected by the aspects of our personalities that we are so ashamed of now. This evolution of life, the one that you're living, is a beautiful gathering of all of your experiences, and your age is something to be honored, cherished and remembered. It is nothing to run away from, it is the symbol of power. It is the symbol of true softness, and true grit.

The Rose represents the duality of which we're always trying to run away from. Oh, I'm too young to be taken seriously, I want to look older. Oh, I'm too old to be deemed worthy, I must try to look younger.

When does it stop? When do we stop trying to outrun the shadow aspects of who we are, and WHEN do we make peace, true peace, with time.

Let the Rose guide you. It's never ashamed to wilt and ask for water, and it isn't afraid to drop what isn't serving it anymore. It's in flow with the cycle of life. It's seen the darkness from inside the bud, unafraid of what exists on the other side. It's bloomed and never once dulled a single petal for fear of being seen.

It has beauty and grit, and the Rose embraces it all.


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