Jan 26, 2018 by


The Pull of Amaryllis

I ADORE the song Amaryllis from Shinedown. It is one of my favorite songs from this band, on this album and of all time. And for some reason, the Universe keeps making it show up on the radio and on my playlist.

The Amaryllis orchid is crimson red with lovely petals. But that’s not what the song is about. The song, and why I’m writing about it, is about finally seeing the sparkle in things when they come into full bloom. That’s what the word Amaryllis means in Greek: to sparkle.

Amaryllis is the name of a lovely maiden in Greek mythology who falls in love with Alteo. A shepherd with the strength of Hercules and the beauty of Apollo. But Alteo was fascinated with flowers. To win his love Amaryllis is told by the Oracle of Delphi she must sacrifice her blood for him. So for thirty nights, she pierces her own heart with a golden arrow. On the thirtieth night, a crimson flower grows from the blood of her heart which Altero can finally see and falls madly in love with her.

The song seems to represent not just a love story but a search for brilliance not only in the hearts of others but in our own hearts.

The song drives “Do I remind you of someone you never met? … A lonely silhouette.” Is that our lover once they are in full bloom? Is that the image of what your own reflection in the mirror could be once you bloom? Is it both?

As the song cries out “Oh I wish you open up for me. ‘Cause I wanna know you. Amaryllis. Bloom.” We all have that intense craving to be really seen and deeply known, by others and through our own eyes in our own reflection. Being seen is HOW we bloom, it is WHY we bloom. And when we are not seen, when we cover up or hide behind armor or personalities and aren’t seen by our most intimate relationships and through our own eyes, we wither away.

Being seen so you can bloom is terrifying. Because it requires true vulnerability. Allowing others, and more vitally allowing yourself, to truly see the exposed you, requires courage and strength. Truly opening yourself up like the flower to bloom forces you to be naked to the world and your insecurities, your shame (which is flippin’ toxic, and not real – an imaginary gremlin, just ask Brene Brown), and all your past wounds are exposed. I am desperately┬átrying to be more vulnerable (follow my journey of discovery), truer to my core, and recognize and heal my past wounds so I will be able to bloom more beautifully┬áthan ever before.

So here’s my question: “What would it take for you to truly bloom?” What part of you are you holding back so you can protect yourself? It’s incredibly painful to pierce your own heart. But the only way to explode the true full bloom of your flower is to have the courage and do what it takes to see yourself and let the world watch you blossom. So take a moment today, really look at those eyes in the mirror and ask yourself a simple question: “What am I hiding from today?” The answer may surprise you. But it’s not the answer you’re looking for, it is the fact that you gazed into your own eyes, and asked the question.

See you on the wire

— Steven Cardinale

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