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Every morning when I wake up I take some time to meditate and be thankful for the new day. I start with an apple, eating it in the front yard, looking at the plants that I have planted myself. Then I water the plants after putting the bins on the other side of the fence.
It is hot and water is needed, sometimes twice a day. I did not know that at the beginning. This is my second year of planting. The first one was a total failure, just because I thought it is enough to put the seed in the soil. It did not matter which kind of soil, the period of planting, I was just showing up once in a while expecting to get some harvest.
Why am I telling you about my planting process? It is because a relationship grows in the very same way and you have to nurture it. You get excited and you may not know what are you doing. But if you look closer, you’ll see the way. You will understand, that showing up once in a while and expecting the goodies will make you end up with only brushwood. You can’t get anything out of brushwood, right? There is no excitement in it, I’ll tell you that.
Being honest with yourself
Now, you may ask if that makes me a gardener, a real one. Truth be told, we are not what we do, but rather what keeps us connected with ourselves. What we touch and design with our own hands and ideas has a meaning.
We fulfill our life in many ways, and if we learn to be more self-connected and aware of what’s around us, things we deserve will follow. Even the relationship we want.
I outline these things just because next time you hear that ‘you need to find yourself before finding the person you need in your life’, you will understand the truth in it.
Just like Matthew Hussey, a dating expert, said: ‘Don’t go to a relationship to get a life, go to a relationship to share a life’. That’s a way to feel love and belonging.
You don’t want to go out there ‘trying’ to find a partner, while you are confused about feelings, you don’t know what you like, what defines you and what are your values. Find yourself first. You’ll go and enjoy life and somebody out there will see in you the joy, not just the hassle.
What happened to my plants? Well, I make sure soil does not dry and garbage stays beyond the fence and I get to enjoy the result.
‘My worst moments made me see things clearer. I was starting to lose connection, not just to whatever was around me, but to myself. My inner voice was showing me through my own actions that I needed to slow down from all this drama run, face my worries and see what real meaning I was putting to my thoughts because I was the one in charge. I was dealing with work problems, eating disorder and distance in the relationship. I was away from myself, but not alone. Those were the moments when I truly felt who I have by my side. Those were the moments that made a difference, the moments that showed equality between words and facts. I would have made it alone, yes, but with my partner by my side things were easier to digest and became part of a growing relationship.’ Claire, 32.
Sometimes the unwanted happens before even realizing that the door was left wide open. It matters what we do from this point. The worst moments bring fear, the fear of losing connection. You get silence that gives birth to more silence and less communication. Moments like that always come invited, even if it looks the other way around. Especially when we seek perfection and use sharp words, or when we have unspoken words and suppressed feelings.
The worst things happen when we forget who we were at the beginning. Who knows what would have happened if we had a picture of a future us at the very first day of our clock when our eyes and emotions met each other for the very first time?
There are moments when unconsciously we add a brick against each other’s love, creating a wall between us.
And here we are, incapable of looking into each other’s eyes, not knowing how to take down the wrong bricks.
In our process of adding, we forget which one is the anger, the calmness, the blame, the acceptance, the pain, and the vulnerability. We just confuse them; we let those feelings in thinking that they will go away.
There are so many moments in life, especially in a relationship, when we feel stuck for a variety of reasons but that is a part of a building process. Thinking about it, there is no bad or good day, there is only our reaction towards it.
Solutions? It all starts with self-acceptance and equal view, with us being realistic but still having dreams.
We can’t enjoy a relationship if we can’t enjoy our lives first. We are the base, we come with something that matters to us and it is acknowledged by our partner. And if they like it, they decide to walk with us on a journey that could become so much better, where personal growth does not come to an end.
That is why a true relationship is when you feel safe and loved in your worst moments, but you have to nurture relationship just like those plants in your garden.