People can learn to study their life force in the same way that a master gardener studies a rosebush. No gardener ever
made a rose. When its needs are met a rosebush will make roses. Gardeners collaborate and provide conditions that
favor this outcome. And as anyone who has ever pruned a rosebush knows, life flows through every rosebush in a slightly different way. –
Rachel Naomi Remen
We go through life like an amateur gardener: we buy a plant or some seeds at a store and we plop them into the ground, water them a bit, and expect nature to take her course and provide us with a wonderful flower or a bumper crop just because we went through this small amount of effort. But we don’t tend to the plant–we don’t prune the extra growth that is stealing energy from the plant, we don’t feed it with the nutrients that help it to develop into something more than just an ill-fed, ill-tended plant.
We could learn from the master gardeners, though. They know that if a plant is going to grow, it needs the right amount of light, water, and pruning, and it needs good soil and the right amount of fertilizer. And even with optimal conditions, each plant is going to grow in a slightly different way, becoming its own unique self.
“When its needs are met a rosebush will make roses.” When our needs are met, we will become the people we are meant to be, and we shall bloom forth in our own special, unique way.
What we have to remember, though, is that we are our own gardeners. Each of us is on this planet partly to take care of our own needs; once our own needs are taken care of, we can begin to help others to meet their needs. Do not neglect your own needs as life goes on along its daily course, for all of us would like to see you in your fullest, most beautiful form.
Questions to ponder:
1. Do you give yourself the right amount of light and nourishment,
and do you put yourself in fertile soil?
2. In what ways do you neglect your own needs?
What could you use more (or less) of?
3. Are you more likely to help someone else to meet his or her
needs first, or take care of your own needs to make sure
that you’re strong enough to be of true help?
For further thought:
Just as gardeners cultivate their plots, keeping them free from weeds, and growing the flowers and fruits which
they require, so may a person tend the garden of his or her mind, weeding out all the wrong, useless, and impure
thoughts, and cultivating toward perfection the flowers and fruits of right, useful, and pure thoughts. By pursuing this
process, a person sooner or later discovers that he or she is the master-gardener of his or her soul, the director of his or her life.