How well does your garden grow?

Well, I imagine that would depend on how well you take care of it.  Are you the type of gardener who gets all excited about the project, runs out to gather all the supplies, and then promptly realizes that you are in over your head?  Are you an overzealous waterer? Are you the type who starts off all gung ho, but loses interest after a while and then forgets you had even started a garden? Or, are you the type who methodically plans out every step of your garden, studies every facet of the garden, but forgets you’re actually supposed to have fun in the process?

You may be asking yourself why a relationship expert is writing about gardening?  What does one have to do with the other?

Well, honestly,quite a bit!

Actually, how we do one thing is how we do everything.  The way we nurture our gardens may be indicative of how we are nurturing our relationships.

If you are wondering why your garden or relationship isn’t yielding the harvest you were hoping for, you may want to take a look at some of your methods.

  • Understand seasonal changes – There is a natural ebb and flow to life.  We often allow ourselves to be indulgent when the harvest is plentiful, but then we stop paying attention when it’s over and the garden seems bare.  Pay attention to the seasons of your relationship; be indulgent in the good times, and put a little more care and nurturing in when times are more difficult.
  • Put in the work – Gardens take work, blood, sweat and tears.  Once you stop working, the garden stops producing.  Relationships are a job, too; if you stop working the relationship, it will also stop producing.  
  • Focus on reviving your ailing flora, not weeding out – It’s very easy to pull out and get rid of things that aren’t growing well or that we feel disappointed us.  Focus on reviving something.  Learn about what makes plants (or people) grow, thrive and flourish.  Also, always consider if you are trying to grow something in the wrong environment.  You might need to make some adjustments to the environment (yourself) in order for your relationships to flourish.
  • Pay attention when the flowers are are in bloom – Rather than seeing the garden as “finished” and being ready to move on to the next project, pay attention and appreciate what you have already done to accomplish such a success.  If we don’t appreciate, we no longer receive.  Appreciate the little things in a relationship as well as the larger things.  Take them in and acknowledge them.
  • Don’t overwater – Don’t fix something that doesn’t need fixing!  This will almost always create a problem where there wasn’t one.  Take some time to sit back and see if there is truly a need to take action or to say something before taking that next step. The same holds true for our relationships; let some things lie.

Gardening (and relationships) really  are much easier when we put in the time to nurture them.  They can flourish by taking some simple steps to assess their needs.  In the end, the harvest is always worth the work!

Until then, happy cultivating!