A strong plant
Did you know that the snowdrop produces so-called bio-heat (about 8 to 10 °C), which melts the snow around the stems and leaves? This really is a gigantic achievement.
The fairy tale "The Snowdrop" by Hans Christian Andersen is about the immense power of this little flower. You can listen to the video below.
For me, the snowdrop is a symbol for chronically ill people - like people with fibromyalgia syndrome. And that is why I encourage you to think about its symbolic power. First of all, the plant seems unimpressive - small, white on white. People with fibromyalgia are sometimes quiet and go unnoticed:
Perhaps you were always on the quiet side, but because you are not taken seriously, because you feel like a burden, and because you are losing social contacts, you may feel and seem inconspicuous and insignificant https://shamethepain.de/helden-halten-eine-menge-aus/
At first, it seems inconspicuous..., because this small plant has to develope tremendous powers in order to bloom - it has to make the snow melt. Similarly, for people with fibromyalgia, the simplest activities are often an enormous feat of strength. It often starts just by having to get up in the morning. In my experience, chronically ill people are very creative, hard-working, energetic people by nature. Because the disease masks who you really are, sometimes others don´t really perceive your potential, the good things inside you.
Warmth and acceptance
To bloom, the snowdrop needs sunshine and freedom is what the fairy tale says. And we need that too - sun = warmth, understanding, acceptance; and freedom = to be as you are and not to have to justify yourself and your illness.
In difficult times and actually all the time we need encouragement. Sentences that do us good. We have to face the challenge and adversity of the disease, somehow. We have to reorient ourselves and move on, somehow. Encouragement can help.
"You can't start a new life, but you can start a new day every day"
Henry David Thoreau
How I once experienced encouragement
Not long after I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, friends gave me Nordic Walking poles as a birthday present. At first, they stood in the corner. Then a course was advertised at the local gym. I thought I could give it a try. I arrived at the agreed meeting point completely out of breath, thinking I was too late. I hate being late. I'd rather be an hour early for an appointment than late. Since I've been ill, being late is common and annoying.
The instructor was still there, but no one else. No other participants. That made me feel insecure, but I walked off with him. He worked for a pharmaceutical company nearby. Fibromyalgia was no stranger to him. "Close the jacket" he said. "It won't close" I said sheepishly. "It's the anti-depressants," he said. "It makes you put on weight". Finally someone who admitted it and had to know. We walked to the next patch of woods, and by then I was pretty much done for. "Come on, you can do it, we keep taking breaks." I didn't dare say no and ran along. He taught me how to hold the poles, how to walk, and I could do it.
When we got back to the studio, the operator said, "If only one person comes next time, we'll cancel the class!" "No, we won't," said the instructor, "If I've only helped one person, then that's good." Of course, I was in quite a bit of pain for a long time afterwards. But I had learnt how to do it. I still do Nordic walking today. Not always regularly. Other illnesses get in the way, but every now and then. Not for so long either, just as long as I can. It still does me good. I am grateful for the encounter with the instructor. I don't remember his name.
Encouragement or praise?
This encouragement had a lasting effect.
Encouragement is not the same as praise.
I can praise a person for an achievement, or something that makes them special.
I encourage a person in terms of his or her qualities, talents, abilities or behaviour, efforts or processes.
When the instructor said "You can do it!" that was encouragement.
"You're like a snowdrop!" That's intended to encourage, too.