We humans, like spring flowers and summer gardens, are hardwired for growth. The early decades of life are characterized by luxuriant growth as goals are pursued, ambitions formed and challenges conquered.
Think of the phenomenal growth in a healthy baby’s first year. The transformations as toddlers acquire language and muscle control. The delight as they explore their environment encountering everything from bubbles to butterflies for the first time.
Young children can’t wait to be ‘big kids,’ start school, play soccer, learn to dance. They are voracious learners who relish competence.
Teens count the days to the coveted driver’s license. Soon college with all its challenges and assumed freedom’s beckons.
Young adults are occupied with careers, marriage, family. Daily demands keep you busy, focused, happy. Life is satisfying, rewarding.
And then, perhaps, one day you notice something has changed. Stress takes its toll. Your energy is consumed with daily hassles. Fun is a rarity. Creativity disappears.
Maybe the relationship that was so exciting in the beginning has hit the doldrums. Your dream career turns out to be ‘just a job.’ The children so joyfully welcomed into your family are making life more difficult than you could have imagined.
It all adds up to feeling root bound. You’re haunted by the thought that ‘this is all there is.’
Or perhaps you’ve crashed on the rocks of loss. Blindsided by loss of a job, health or family. This is not the way life was supposed to be.
If you are feeling frustrated or defeated, perhaps it is time to cultivate growth. To tend the garden of you. Time to pull up weeds. To live intentionally rather than taking life as it comes. To plant yourself in the most beneficial combination of soil, sunshine and rain.
While growth is natural, a flourishing garden requires attention and care. In order to grow you may need to:
- Till the soil of your intellect
- Feed your spirit and grow in faith
- Dig up weeds of discord in your relationships
- Grow nurturing, stimulating friendships
- Prune unnecessary or unrewarding activities
- Slash choking vines of addiction
- Transplant if necessary
Healing growth demands diligence, patience and courage. Are you up to the challenge?
Would you welcome help and support in the process?
If you live or work in the Salisbury or Concord NC areas, I would love to give you a hand. If you live elsewhere in the U.S. check out psychologytoday.com to find a competent gardner/therapist near you.
Also published on Medium.
I am a North Carolina Licensed Professional Counselor with 20 years experience in the field and many more years of life experience. I entered the counseling profession in mid-life after putting in time as a stay-at-home mom, a freelance writer, a journalist, and a United States-based missionary. I love walking alongside those who are seeking to find themselves, heal a relationship, or recover from trauma. In my spare time, I enjoy reading, writing, and hanging out with my grandsons.