Lessons Learned in Costa Rica

Last week as I sat with my family over dinner on our final night together before leaving Costa Rica, we recapped our week in the form of “roses” (the best part of our week), “thorns” (the worst part of our week) and “buds” (what we’re looking forward to / what we learned and hoped to incorporate into our futures).  In doing so, I realized that my rose was also my thorn, and a bit of my bud as well. 

Together, many lessons were learned.  Over the next number of days, you can look for my resulting musings through blogposts in the following categories:

  • Moving outside your comfort zone
  • The fragility of biologic and human ecosystems
  • Changing perspective through changing environments
  • Having a guide when you’re in unfamiliar territory
  • Evolving and new family traditions

I think it’s important to recognize that the beautiful things we enjoy and cherish often did not begin as such; And I’m often reminded of that truth when I talk with parents about how they might tell their young children of their impending divorce.  I talk about change in the form of flowers blooming, and how before they become beautiful, first they begin as seeds in the ground and must be watered and break through dirt before pressing themselves into the sunlight.  And even then, they are not fully formed, and are only beginning their life as a small bud, eventually becoming a flower. That conversation often leads to one where we talk about the many kinds of love that exist; some, like romantic love, being both beautiful and thorny like a rose, while others like love for one’s children, being rooted like a tree.

While in the moment we might not enjoy the thorns of life, recognizing their protective and necessary value (like the thorns that keep a vulnerable rose from being eaten or plucked), often allows us to shed new light on difficult and painful changes.

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