Growing Into Your Garden

In many parts of the world, the long-awaited growing season has begun. I’ve admittedly never been much of a gardener, but living in a rural community for my whole life, I’ve witnessed the anticipation of my farmer neighbors and friends who plant gardens. Dependent on the weather and other factors, that anticipation either yields to fulfillment, frustration, or disappointment as the harvest nears.

In life, growing season never really ends, does it? Our thoughts and circumstances are almost always changing, and often, they’re triggered by conditions over which we have little control. We might embark on something with what we think is the right “seed” and “soil” so to speak, but because of unexpected elements, we don’t reap what we hoped to.

A few years ago, I wrote a reflective post about what I’d learned through the past decade, and in it, I included the following quote:

“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.” ~Douglas Adams

In the years since then, I’ve continued to understand those words with more and more clarity. No, I’m not at all saying the various challenges we’ve faced in the past couple of years have benefited us, as many have suffered greatly. I also don’t believe in fate or that everything happens for a reason, like some say.

Still, I’ve come to appreciate that the unforeseen winds that blew me off my projected course didn’t ruin my whole plan. As I’ve discussed in previous blogs, roadblocks throughout my career have led me to better opportunities, and in dealing with my physical struggles, certain unpleasant adjustments made me progress more than I could’ve imagined. In matters big and small, I’ve learned how unreliable my own compass can be and how what seemed to be a misstep can land you exactly where you need to be, when you need to be there.

All this said, it takes time for this awareness to seep into your soul. Weeks, months, and—more often than not—years have passed for me to appreciate various disruptions to my aspirations. In that timeframe, you’re usually not waiting to make such an epiphany, and typically, the last thing you want to hear is, “Someday, you’ll be thankful for this.” Setbacks and disappointments of every sort sting, and especially when it’s major, you need to process/grieve it.

Thus, be patient with yourself and the circumstances that arise. Moments will likely come when you feel like there’s no way you’ll reach the destination you once had. Don’t give into that notion. Like plants, we all need time to grow, and we weather storms in the process. We shouldn’t despair just because the garden we find ourselves in doesn’t look like we intended. With fertilizers like patience, resilience, and appreciation, we can still flourish in it.

Also See

Ugly Changes Lead to Beautiful Transformations

Keeping Surprises in your Plan

2 thoughts on “Growing Into Your Garden

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