Our life is like a garden. It requires nurturing and love.
Have you ever noticed that when you have plants and flowers growing closer to each other, they look more beautiful and plentiful?
So it is too, when you allow others into your world of friendship, you become richer, too. Love and friendship grow with honesty, trust and appreciation.
Your garden needs nourishment and love, along with the sunshine and the rain. And, so do you.
Even if you try to remove all the weeds from your garden, they manage to sneak back in somehow. There must be a purpose for these weeds or God would not have planted them there. Just as weeds sometimes invade the flowers, our lives become tainted with sadness, frustration and difficult moments. Although we may not know what it is, just as there is a purpose for weeds in our garden, there is a purpose for the pain, sorrow, tribulations and misfortunes that invade our lives.
Years ago I discovered my first purpose for the hardships, problems and misery. I thought about it one day, at one of the darkest moments in my life. Suddenly I realized - how would I know the happiness, pleasure and joy, if I didn't have the troubles with which to compare it? That was my very first revelation. Although I didn't welcome the agony, troubles and misery into my life, I recognized they were there for a reason.
Then my real "AH-HA" moment came when I learned that those moments of difficulty must be welcomed and embraced. We must feel the pain in order to get through it and move on to something more rewarding. We must have rain for the flowers to grow, just as we must have challenges to gain strength and to grow.
It was then I began to understand GRATITUDE. True actions of being thankful have helped me to transform my life and turn around the difficulties, allowing them to be a part of me for whatever time they are meant to be, and then moving forward with whatever crosses my life's path. It's almost impossible to be able to get through the challenging times without love and gratitude. Okay, maybe it's possible, but not probable. And, without acceptance and appreciation, it takes longer to work through the misery.
I've discovered that there is nothing in this life that is so devastating that we cannot find something for which to be grateful. It's contagious. The more you focus on your blessings, the more you will find. They are there. They are with you always, but sometimes you just need to recognize what they are.
When you choose to place emphasis on your hardships and suffering, you will give them power over you, and they will remain attached to your life. But, by diverting your concentration from your lack to the miracles and wonderment in your life, you give power and strength to the blessings that are already in your life.
Instead of using your thoughts to dream of what you desire and do not have, use your mind to be grateful for what is already there. By doing this, you will attract more into your life for which to be grateful. It's contagious, I tell you! It works!
Although it might require a little more focus to make it effective in dealing with the huge devastating issues, it easily manages the little nuisances we each face almost daily. You know those little nuisances - the little ant hills that we sometimes turn into overwhelming mountains, simply with the distortion in our minds. This is a great place to begin a journey in GRATITUDE.
As I said, it's contagious, so the more you are able to diffuse the ant hills, the easier it naturally becomes to place your attention on that for which you have to be grateful. And, this helps create a habit of being grateful for even those mountains that surface. They do have their purpose, even if you don't understand them.
Someone who doesn't know me might think that I value this way of life, because my life is already easy. But, for those who really know me, already know that is not true. My life has been filled with 60 years of struggles, sadness, depression and moments, which I wouldn't want my worst enemies to ever have to face. Okay, maybe that's an exaggeration. Not all 60 years have been filled with challenges, but there have been many.
Everyone has weeds in their garden of life. It's not about the weeds, but it's about how you choose to deal with them. I choose GRATITUDE. And, I hope you will, too.
written May 25th, 2008 G.G.