What’s the most difficult thing for anyone to ever do? Maybe speak themselves, love themselves, accept themselves and reveal their true self to the world. I recently came across a story that beautifully explains the meaning of my question and I think all of us should know about it because it simply explains the truth that sometimes is extremely hard to express. The story is an old Italian legend going back to 1500-1600 which is said to have taken place in a city called “La Citta di smeraldo”. The city is said to have been a flourishing one during that period of time but currently is an abandoned city in northern Italy and it is apparently the only place where the “Smeraldo” flower which in Italian means “emerald” blooms.
According to the legend there once lived a man in a secluded castle in la Citta di smeraldo he had shut himself out from the world and lived a lonely life. Not much information is available about him except he was the love child of the duke and a gardener’s daughter. His mother died during childbirth due to excessive bleeding thus leaving the child alone and unwanted. The duke’s wife and children considered him as a misery since he was a child born out of wed-lock they tried to kill him and fearing for his life the duke sent him away in hiding. the man alone hid in the solitude of the castle and kept his face hidden by a mask because he was very ugly. He could never bring himself to trust anyone due to the scars of his childhood and all the hatred and jealousy he received, as a result, he kept himself guarded on trusting others and shut the people and the world out.
His only source of happiness in life was to grow flowers in his garden it gave him peace and satisfaction but one fine day as if fate was playing a beautiful song made him cross paths with someone who helped him understand what it means to love someone. One day a girl appeared in the vicinity of his castle dressed in ragged clothes she climbed over the garden fence wall picked a few flowers and went away. The man was furious on the girl for stealing his precious flowers and decided to keep an eye on her the next time she comes and catch her red-handed. He spends the whole night guarding his flowers but in a brief moment of falling asleep, the girl returns again pick a few flowers and leaves. This goes on for several nights until the man finally decides to pretend to fall asleep as he was curious to find out why was she doing this? He follows her one night wearing his mask and disguised in a cloak and upon reaching the village he discovers the reason why she did so, it is revealed to him that she was extremely poor and would sell flowers to make a living for herself. The man is dejected on finding out the truth and feels ashamed to have judged her so quickly thus he decides to help her out, he wanted to teach her every method that he knew to grow beautiful flowers, he wanted to grow beautiful flowers just for her. He had not even realised that he was falling in love with her. The man started growing flowers for her so that she could sell them all and make lots of money with it, he wanted to reveal himself to her tell her how much he loved her but he feared that she would not love him back , he feared that she would be frightened of his grotesque appearance and run away. Thus he could never muster up the courage to go before her and tried his best to express it by growing all the flowers he could as for him this was the only way he could show her how much he loved her and could see her every day when she would come to his garden to pick flowers. With time as his love for her grew he decided that he would grow the most beautiful and expensive flower for her to sell and that would be the only way he would be able to express his sincerity to her, how deeply he loved her. The man locks himself up in his castle for days in an attempt to grow the most beautiful flower for the one he loved the most. After many failed attempts he succeeded in making the flower which truly was one of the most beautiful flowers to ever have existed it was the “Smeraldo flower”. Later he filled his garden with these flowers and waited for the night to fall and the girl to return to pick flowers but no matter how long he waited she did not turn up. He continued to wait for her as days turned to months with a hope that she would soon turn up to pick the flowers but she was nowhere to be seen and did not return to his garden. His waiting turned to anxiousness and he decided to visit the village wearing his mask and a cloak in order to find out what was the reason she did not return. On reaching the village the man discovers that she had died. He was crestfallen as she was the only girl, he had ever loved with all his heart and now she was gone. He visited the village wearing his mask fearing that if she saw his ugly self, she would be frightened but now she was gone even before he could express his love to her. Thus, Smeraldo in the flower language symbolically expressed the Italian phrase “non-potevo dire la verita” which means “the truth that could not be told”. Smeraldo stands for the sincerity that could not be delivered. If only the man had the courage to not hide from her and tell her he loved her he wouldn’t have to live in regret. Sometimes we tend to keep things to ourselves hide things we want to say to someone because of the fear of getting rejected. The man feared to show his true self to her because he felt his hideous appearance would drive her away from him that she would never accept his love and would reject him. But what if he would have told her ? what if he would have appeared before her and revealed his feelings would things have been different? maybe she would be terrified of him, maybe she would run away but at least he would have been honest at least she would know that in this world lived a man who truly loved her with all his heart. But this story not only talks about heartbreak but also a painful truth a fear that almost all of us in this world face, the courage to show our true self the importance of loving ourselves.
The most important thing that we all need to focus on is to love ourselves because if we ourselves cannot love us for who we are, how do we expect others to accept us and give us the love we deserve. Loving yourself is not a selfish act because one cannot truly love another until they know how to love themselves. We tend to run away from reality try to fit into the mould’s society creates for us because we fear that if we show our true self nobody will accept us. Thus, like the man kept himself secluded in the walls of his castle we too create these walls around us and keep our true self captured within the walls of that castle living in solitude shutting our true self from the world our flower garden being our dreams our passions and things that make us happy and give us satisfaction. One fine day when the girl comes to this garden to pick flowers out or the opportunity strikes to follow our dreams to do what we love the fear of being rejected, the fear of being made fun of and not being understood, this castle that we have built around us the grotesque appearance that we consider our true self to be does not give us the courage to love ourselves just as how the man kept his feeling hidden in his heart and grew flowers for her came up with the smeraldo flower so that she could sell the flower and earn lots of money from it , it was his only way to express his sincerity to her to express how deeply he loved her and how much he yearned for her but his fear kept him away from her and he could just watch her from afar picking those flowers and now she was gone all he had was the longing for her the guilt that if he could tell her the truth how things could have been different but it was a truth that was left untold forever. Similarly, we too tend to hide our true self behind various facades we try to grow our smeraldo flowers through the little joys in life through the small escapes we find for ourselves but for how long will this truth be untold?
Whether it is telling someone we love our just breaking free from this castle of misery we create around us we need to love our self and speak our self because we get one life if we spend our entire life with the fear of being unaccepted won’t we stop living. It does not matter if you have no dreams but it is very important to be happy in life it is very important to be yourself and express your heart out say things you always wanted to say to others do things you always wanted to do because you may never know when the time might come that you will be left in regret of not saying it or not doing something and all you will have is immense regret and guilt.