In Bloom is a collection of stories from Kayla’s life from childhood through to motherhood about feelings of insecurities and inadequacies. The stories are grouped into themes such as rejection, fear and boys, and are very vulnerable at times touching on topics that most of us probably hide away inside.
Why I wanted to read In Bloom
I first came across Kayla through a blogging course and didn’t know anything about her life. But when I was offered an early ebook to review, the strapline Trading Restless Insecurity for Abiding Confidence intrigued me. Well, now I know lots about her life. And despite our differences such as I’m in the UK and went to an all girls school, I felt a bond with Kayla because she could have been writing about much of my life.
From the time I learned to read, I lost myself in the worlds I could live in through books. In books, I didn’t have to be myself. I could disappear completely into the characters, a reprieve from real life.
We both had a childhood love of reading (yes I was so engrossed in my book I couldn’t stop reading for a photograph).
What I did have to document my youth was a diary. In fact, I have a box full of old ones because my childhood self thought it would be a good idea to save them all for my future children to read…Then I reread those diaries as an adult and realized no one should be subjected to that level of teenage angst.
We also both enjoyed writing journals. And all you need to do is look back on my journal extracts to see the angst I went through trying to fit in. I have to admit that I stopped reading my 1992 journal because I felt sad and embarrassed at reliving my behaviour. After reading this book, I’m thinking of starting it again.
I’ve always felt unfinished, as though I’m perpetually in the process of becoming.
Well obviously yes, this is probably why I have such an interest in personal development. However now I look at this is becoming my best self and not that I’m missing something. And I know there is always more to develop so I am in fact unfinished.
I have to be honest, I marked so many quotes that it has been hard to narrow the list down. I’ve picked the ones that had the biggest impact on me.
- Along the way I collected all the tiny moments of hurt and embarrassment and insecurity, and I decided they comprised who I was.
- I spent most of my life wishing I were someone else. Someone prettier, braver, funnier.
- We are caught in a cycle of shame that poisons us from the inside out.
- Fitting in is easier than standing out. We can become so obsessed with fitting the mold that we forget our blueprint, the one that was intricately designed with our uniqueness in mind.
- When we accumulate our past rejections, we create a story for ourselves that says no one will want us.
- There were plenty of things in my life I could have enjoyed if I had just been able to focus on my own portion rather than someone else’s. Instead, I spent my energy comparing myself relentlessly to an imagined version of myself.
- Every no in our lives is the opportunity for a good and better yes.
- As women we tend to downplay our talents because the world suggests to us that we should. It’s not arrogant to be confident. It’s not prideful to embrace your gifts. This is how we help other people flourish. It’s all a beautiful cycle, the way we can savor our passions to sustain our souls and unleash them in community to exhort one another, spurring each other on in love.
- Every disappointment in our lives is the result of an unmet need. And when we identify this unfulfilled desire, we create space for ourselves to fill the void with what will heal us rather than trying to put a temporary bandage on the problem. So now when I’m feeling hurt or lonely or left out, I ask myself, “What is it exactly that I am needing in this circumstance?”
- Sometimes it can be harder to forgive ourselves than to extend mercy to others . Sometimes we assume that people are judging us from afar when really we just happen to be in their line of sight as they squint at the signs in the grocery aisle.
- When we have a spirit of forgiveness toward the people who sowed hurt into our lives, we move forward on the path toward change.
- One of the worst feelings in the world is to not be seen. No one wants to go through life unnoticed. We all just want someone to tell us we matter.
Should you read In Bloom
Yes, if you feel you are alone about feeling insecure and inadequate. This book doesn’t offer tips or exercises for you to work through to develop your confidence, but it has abundance of “you are not alone”. I highlighted lots of quotes as I read the book and looking through them again has given me the feeling of having a friend who understands where I’m coming from.
In Bloom is classed as a Christian book, but I’m not religious and felt the bible quotes were appropriate and well used. Plus Kayla’s view on Christianity is very positive and about lifting people up, which is always a good thing.
I think changing myself to be more like someone else is going to make me a wellrounded woman, living a more beautifully balanced life. But in reality, it just leads to me being spread too thin, trying to accomplish things that aren’t even in my area of gifting, rather than giving my best to what I do well. Instead of feeling adept and confident, I just feel like a failure at everything in a negative cycle of my own making. We don’t have to do what someone else is doing to be considered worthy. Likewise, we don’t have to undercut someone else’s good fortune for fear that it will steal away our own. We are never going to feel better about ourselves by tearing others down.
*Disclaimer – I received an early electronic version of this book in exchange for a review, all comments are honest and my own. This post also contains affiliate links which means if you buy something after following a link I will earn a percentage of the value but it does not cost you any more.