Around Valentine’s Day, there’s much attention given to romantic love. While I’m absolutely here for that, as a spiritual being having a human experience, the most enduring and important relationship I’ve ever had was with myself (and that, by default of my belief in a higher power, also means with God). There are currently three amazing teenage girls in my life whom I love with deep intention and interact with regularly: my daughters who are 17 and 14, and their cousin who is 17. The time I get to spend with them reminds me that I am alive and beholden to a purpose that is greater than my time in this dimension.
During a recent outing with them, I stopped by a local coffee shop. Oblivious to our reason for being there and too caught up in each other to even care to question, they sat in the car while I went in. That was fine by me. I’d just seen on Instagram that my favorite Black-woman-owned floral company was doing a pop-up I didn’t want to miss.
Inside, I passed a vendor’s table full of beautiful jewelry and beelined to the floral arrangements. Locking eyes with Rashawn Scarbo, owner and lead designer of Bloom Bold Co, a big smile spread across both of our faces. We’ve known each other for a short time but clicked immediately. Her company specializes in bold hand-tied bouquets, event florals, and pop-up experiences. Rashawn is also the former Regional Director of Black Girl Florists where she served all of Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Since completing her tenure, she is now an active member.
After a warm greeting and some small talk, I found what I came for: three simplistically beautiful floral arrangements in vases. As we checked out, Rashawn shared that Black Girl Florists would be an exhibitor at the 2023 Philadelphia Flower Show. There’s something special about a Black girl in America receiving her flowers. There’s something revolutionary about a Black woman florist being the one to give them to her in the city that birthed a nation built on the backs of her ancestors. What an experience.
I gathered all the vases to head to the car and surprise my girls. Stumbling in such a mom-ASStic way through a speech made up on the spot (I’m a writer, give me a break, haha), they became visibly moved by the act of love. The next thing I know, everyone is out of the car, pictures are being taken, Rashawn is outside overjoyed at what she’s witnessing, the girls are in awe of her, and the Black Girl Magic is just utterly palpable.
I was inspired to say the least. So inspired, in fact, I gathered a few “flowers” to pass along to my daughters, girls, and young women everywhere. Thanks to Love Now Media, I get to share it here. Please read, take what you need, and pass this bouquet of love forward.
- Bloom wherever you are planted.
- You’re designed so masterfully that you possess the ability to water yourself. Though you do not have to, know that you have the power within to do so if needed.
- A flower is beautiful enough on its own but within a bouquet or when flourishing in a field, it’s a breathtaking sight to bear witness to. A community that grows with you is good for you. Your beauty enhances their beauty. Plant yourself wisely. Uproot yourself when needed.
- A flower does not beg the world to see its beauty or contort itself to see its own. It plants its roots deep and then reaches for the sun, catching the eyes of the world on the way up. It worries not so much about what it is or isn’t; it just grows and blooms, nourishing itself through the seasons and cycles of life. Everything is already within you and that which is not—that which is good to and meant for you—will come from a source that is beyond society’s influence or control.
- I hope you know you are loved. You are inherently worthy, powerful, and capable beyond belief. To balance your feminine and masculine energies is to master oneself. Take a deep breath. And another one. Small acts of self-love done regularly allow for the building of self-trust. Self-trust opens the door for fear and courage to occupy the same space as you step out on faith.
- Your heart deserves to have you emotionally available to it; do not let your mind convince you that it is the enemy. I could remind you that you’re beautiful but you could also choose to believe it whether you hear it or not…because it’s true. You are not your trauma; you are triumphant. You are not the sum total of someone’s fears or failures, you’re the exponential potential that comes from overcoming your own. On your worst day, you’re deserving of self-accountability and your own grace.
- I hope you taste your words before feeding them to yourself. Only the best as often as possible. Never forget: by loving and valuing yourself, you’re teaching others how to treat you. Teach them by example very well.
You are here. You are loved. Your love is transformative. Let it lead you today and every day hereafter.
Syreeta Martin is an award-winning journalist and the Strategic Storyteller for Love Now Media.