Friday, April 11, 2014

Less structure, more thriving

As I sit here writing, I can glance out my window into my garden.It's a little unkempt, but it is thriving.  This spring, I am too busy to try to make it look perfect, and so I'm letting things grow a bit more willy nilly than I typically would. Some of the weeds are being left alone. The herbs in the big pots are co-mingling, and the blackberry branches are taking over.  It's a little wild, but everything seems so happy and is thriving.

And there is the lesson- perfect appearances do not equal thriving.  That's a hard lesson for a person like me to learn.  I grew up with the family business in our living room, and everything needed to look just right.  It's a tendency that I alternately embrace (to my great frustration) or reject (to excess). Sometimes my life is picture perfect on the surface, but dangerously chaotic and unbalanced beneath; other times, it is a disaster on the surface, but quite contentedly healthy under the veneer of mess.  I know I need to find a balance, and I try, but it's not always easy.

My garden is a good example of finding a balance between picture perfection and rejecting preconceived boundaries and ideals.  Since I have allowed a certain level of organic growth and laissez faire attitude, while still caring for my plants, I have a garden that is green, lush, and full of life, but I'm not fretting about a weed here or mystery plants that are sprouting between the flowers.  i water and relocate pests daily.  I trim and thin and weed when things start to show signs of distress, but I am also learning that many of my plants can and will peacefully coexist without my interference (and some of the "weeds' aren't so bad if they aren't allowed to take over).  I've also found that the overall picture my little garden makes is brighter and fuller than it was when I was obsessively tending it.

It's time for many of us to reject the idea of perfection and embrace the idea of thriving, instead.  My letting little imperfections and troubles exist, in some healthy fashion, we can spend our energy on growing and  blooming rather than struggling.

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