Grow your own garden first.
Many times in our lives, we experience conflicts or disagreements in our relationships.
Parent-child. Husband-wife. Friend-friend. Boss-employee. And so on.
When relationships get too difficult, that’s where all sorts of things can happen.
Mostly, it depends on where you are as a person. Your level of consciousness or maturity. Your self awareness. Your ability to respond rather than react, among other things.
“He disrespects me. My husband. Now he has the audacity to dictate to and argue with me. I’ll see to it that his office mates know what he’s doing at home. He’s a jerk!”
Those were the words of Alexis during our Zoom session. Upon further probing, I learned that she’s also throwing plates and glasses at him when they misunderstand each other.
In his book “The Art of Living,” the bestselling author Thic Nhat Hahn, writes about two gardens, particularly in a committed relationship:
“When you are in a committed relationship, you have two gardens: your garden and the garden of your beloved. First, you have to take care of your garden and master the art of gardening. In each one of us there are flowers and there is also garbage. The garbage is the anger, fear, discrimination, and jealousy within. If you water the garbage, you will strengthen the negative seeds. If you water the flowers of compassion, understanding, and love, you will strengthen the positive seeds. What you grow is up to you. If you don’t know how to practice selective watering in your own garden, then you won’t have enough wisdom to help water the flowers in the garden of your beloved.“
There it is, a therapeutic slogan for us to live by if we are faced with difficulties or conflicts in relationships:
Water and grow your own garden first.
To make peace or nurture the relationship to health, you’ve to go home to your garden first.
Plant good seeds and cultivate the flowers of understanding, wisdom, gratitude, and compassion.
Only then can you go back to the other person ready to offer acceptance, forgiveness, joy, and love.
Don’t neglect your own garden. Water and grow it first in your relationships.