How to Hold Your Ground When Everything Is Trying To Uproot You

Illustration by Nella Bohm

Illustration by Nella Bohm

Often I’ve heard that our lives are compared to those of plants, which are the source of life for us. Not just the trees, we often equate the struggles, the joys, the redemption we witness, to that of nature. Our life, as it began, is compared to that of a seed. Deep rooted in the ground, in the musky fragrance of the earth, aching to take its first breath of air.
You make your way through the deep ground, pounding and scratching with your bony fingers in the shape of the stem, to the light at the end of the tunnel, the bright blue sky.

You emerge into the new atmosphere, with lots of dreams and fantasies, about how tall you’ll grow, what you’ll create and how long will you hold out. There are a ton of challenges coming your way. Before you know it, a storm hits. You are pushed, pulled, thrown back and forth across the four directions but your feet, your roots, are somehow keeping you standing on your feet. You’ll face a lot more storms. But you’ll be alright. You will be.

Lesson number one: No matter what happens, your own body will support you. You’ll always have you.

After the storm disappears, you’re a renewed being. Though you might have some injuries, some scars, but you’re alive, and that’s worth celebrating. No matter how great the storm was, no matter how long it lasted, the sun shined through. No more silver linings to find, you’re in the sunshine now.

You’ll grow some more, you’ll be cared for, you’ll be attended, you’ll groom yourself. Instead of another storm, here comes another challenge your way. The uprooters.
These will be the people, that not only threaten you from the outside, but they plan on having you uprooted. They plan on destroying what keeps you on your feet.
They have many names and come in various forms: Bullies, doubters, manipulators & cheaters. (in school, neighbourhoods, parents, relatives, teachers, friends, siblings) They can come in any form. Don’t be afraid.

They plan on uprooting you, and they’re the ones who want to walk over you until you no longer can breathe the air you were dying for that first time you saw the bright blue sky. They arrive wearing their rubber boots, ready to stamp all over you, but you’ve faced storms and these people are have nothing on the fury of the nature that you’ve lived through.

Lesson number two: You’re NOT weak because you’re grounded, you’re NOT incapable because you stand up for what you believe despite anyone or everyone doubting you, you’re NOT a waste of space or time because somebody says that to you.

You’re rooted, and no matter how many people like these try to uproot you, or trample over you, or try to bury you, it won’t matter. You’ve seen a storm, but you’ve become a hurricane.

I read a quote once and it said, “They tried to bury us. But they didn’t know we were seeds.”

People get trapped in heavy storms and rainfalls that have names of people they fear the most or hate the most or even love the most. I have only one thing to say to them: It will pass. Let it roar, let it rage, let it scream. You’ll get through it and you’ll be stronger from the inside. Your roots will grow and grow and grow, you’ll adapt and you’ll change, you’ll grow and you’ll create such wonders that all the uprooters will stand in your shadow, but you won’t see them, no you won’t, because you’ll be looking at that bright blue sky.

Oshin Ahlawat is a young poet and writer based in New Delhi, India. “I believe people who write are like tornados and cyclones. We wreck a lot of lives; for better or worse. It all depends on the people who read our work. They decide where the damage is going to be; the heart or the mind and whether it’s going to be for the good or for worse. I wish to give them the choice to decide that. I’m just going to focus on doing what I want”, she says. 

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