Bloody hell, we’re made to shine (A note on being loud And humble)

The crocuses came and they came fully. Brave and vulnerable they opened their hearts right up to the sky and let the whole world see. In an endless pouring out of beauty, they gave and gave and gave of themselves, risking everything and asking nothing in return. And when they had given themselves completely, they gracefully withdrew back into the waiting earth.

The daffodils came and they came fully. They shone and smiled and offered their full-hearted ‘Yes!’ to the world. And when they had given all of their light, they withered and returned from whence they came.

Now, it’s the time of the primroses. In clusters or alone, they offer themselves and they offer themselves fully. The wild garlic is already growing in lush circles around the trunks of trees, cherry blossom is cascading out in pink clouds and the very first bluebells are here.

As I walk through the cemetery I feel as though every single plant calls out to me in joyful glee, ‘Look at me! Look at me!’

What they’re not saying is, ‘Look at me and don’t look at him’ or ‘Look at me because I’m better than that one’. They just say, ‘Look at me! Look at me!’ because they’re filled with the joy of life and what it is to be here and to be alive.

They are loud and they are humble.

And never - not once - do I think, as I walk around the cemetery admiring all these gifts of nature, that they ought to hide themselves a little more and be less bright and bold and brilliant.

The thought that they might ever do that makes me intensely sad. Can you imagine a springtime in which the crocuses and daffodils and primroses and bluebells only half came to life? Half opened? Half gave of themselves? Worried that in coming fully they would seem arrogant or egotistical?

We would never ask this of the wild world. We would never ask any of it to be less than what it is because we already know that to do so would be to deprive ourselves of so much goodness.

There was a time when we were each like the crocuses and daffodils, the blossom and the bluebells. A time when we were young and unconditioned and happily shouted, ‘Look at me!’ We shouted those words not because we wanted more attention than somebody else or because we thought we were better than the rest, but simply because we were overflowing with the ecstasy of life. We were in celebration.

With time, with the pressure to conform, or lacking role models who lived fully themselves, our sense of what it is to be humble grew twisted. Humble became hiding. Humble became not speaking up. Humble became putting everyone else first. Humble became people-pleasing. Humble became agreement. Humble became making sure that you never shouted, ‘Look at me!’

Like many of us, I’ve spent a great deal of time with a twisted sense of what it is to be humble. If that’s true for you too, I’m here to say:

Bloody hell, we’re made to shine. We are the wild world, too.

Love and courage,


P.S. Where are you hiding, half-opening, or diminishing yourself and what one thing could you do today that would move you towards your own authentic version of loud and humble? Share your ideas in the comments below. Together, let's be bright and bold and brilliant.