At this time of year, I find myself dreaming about spending time in my garden, feeling the warm glow of the sun, and tending to new growth. A little fertilizer here, a little tiny prune there. I developed my love of gardening with my mother. It is where we spent time together bonding. Years later she is gone, but her love of gardening lives with me. Whether we have to or not, we all grow and evolve, don’t we?
“There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.” ― Nelson Mandela
Are you the same person today as you were five years ago? Unlikely. We are all more capable today as a result of learning and growing through experience and education. We learn valuable lessons from our mistakes. We plan our days as well as our future. Okay, perhaps I am wrong. Maybe in some ways, we can stay just as we are, at least in the privacy of our minds. Is this desirable? Is not having to change more important than being happy, healthy, successful, well-adjusted individuals with significant relationships?
So what’s the point of change, growth, development, and evolution, anyway? Things begin to clarify when we consider these concepts firmly. Consider. Are we consistently fruitful and happy? Of course, we all have our moments that are somewhat challenging, but the answer is universal. In fact, it is impossible to be consistently successful, well-adjusted and happy all of the time. Life fluctuates, and we move right along with it if we are wise.
If we charted our experiences and emotions, they would reflect any stock market chart. Hey now that is a matter for a different blog, but the stock market does, in fact, take into account public sentiment – how confident we feel toward the market at any given point in time, and it is always fluctuating up and down. However, back on point. If we were to always experience the same emotion to the same degree, we would eventually lose that feeling. We would be unable to maintain it, and we would begin to feel something else, like a loss of that emotion, such as disappointment, sadness, or confusion. At best we would experience and emotional “flat line.” No shame or disappointment, but no joy, optimism, or happiness either.
We can experience one emotion because we have experienced the other emotion. The one that counters the first; one that is somewhat different that balances us. Consider emotions to live on a dichotomous scale. Emotions then are always a relative experience. The fact that yesterday I was worried and confused is – in part – the reason that today I feel confident, focused, and creative. In fact, if you experienced an exhilarating day yesterday, you might experience a bit of a lull today. It is a natural evolutionary process of nature.
Today’s emotions give rise to tomorrow’s experiences. I only know the degree to my happiness today because I remember how bewildered I felt yesterday. We can actually “find ourselves” by making a conscious decision to change. If you are not happy with something about yourself – say you are still a smoker and hate that fact about yourself – when you are ready and decide that it is time to become a better person, you start feeling happier. If you realize that success and happiness might just be experienced more frequently by those who are disciplined – you can begin to struggle and practice with becoming more disciplined yourself. It is likely going to be a struggle, but hang in there and maintain your focus on your ultimate goal until you get over the fight.
You have heard the story about two wolves who meet in the woods, one black one white. They engage in a fight. Which one wins? The answer, if you know the story, is the one that you feed! The wolves are merely a metaphor for our inner struggles. Which wolf will you feed and nurture inside yourself – the smoker or the non-smoker; disciplined or carefree? You decide.
The point that I want to clarify today is that we have been the ones who have chosen all along. We were the ones who fed and nurtured one wolf over another the whole time. We might have been lacking a degree of conscious awareness about it, but then that too is a major component of my message. The more aware we can become the clearer our decisions can be. If we are unhappy, dissatisfied or irritated in any way, we can decide to change, grow, develop, and evolve. However, only to the degree that we are clear and aware.
The day you decide that you are more interested in being aware of your thoughts than you are in the thoughts themselves – that is the day you will find your way out. Michael Singer
The gardener thinks, plans, and creates strategies for a garden long before it comes into existence. A gardener sows seeds and provides homes for baby plants according to a blueprint and then just cares for them as they mature into individually beautiful plants, finally displaying a very charming garden. Growing seasons come and go, showing up with a smile, only to wither into a peaceful slumber. The season has not died or ceased to exist. It merely naps, changing form slightly and allowing what was there last season to show up all over again. This time bigger and better than ever before.
“Dare to love yourself as if you were a rainbow with gold at both ends.” ― Aberjhani