18 hints about Relationships and You: As seen in a Garden Parable (revised)
By Gregga J. Johnn
It seems to me that when two people meet there are grounds between them. Let us consider these grounds for a moment.
1) We are all a Soul Garden
Consider the grounds of one human soul. At the first we are wild, open, and new. We are a beautiful refuge and an untouched landscape. Our souls are yet so close to heaven that the angels still dance upon the plains of our heart.
2) Parents are our First Caretakers
There we come to our first meeting ground; a parent meets a child. The combination of experience and weathered tools meeting with innocent ground to cultivate, nurture and develop a home, becoming the foundation and basis of everything else that we ever do.
What a responsibility.
We, the weathered ones, cannot help the scars and dents in our hands that guide and hope to bring forth new growth. Nor can we suddenly know what is needed to tend someone else’s ground. We often have little more than trial and much error to work with. Sometimes the words we use and the actions we hide cast off more seed than the care and intended love we keep inside.
But there is always a chance for regrowth and weeding. Oh yes, there is always the need and the opportunity for weeding.
3) Meeting new people as a Community Garden
But let us jump forward and consider a moment later in life where two people meet, one to one, and there is chance for cultivating new grounds between these two souls.
Every meeting is a chance to cultivate new ground. Most often that ground becomes a communal place where various ideas are cast about and many workers make light the work of bringing forth produce. There are squabbles and storms, some leave, and some stay, but all in all, there is a new thing created and with each new creation comes the possibility of potential.
What is our potential?
4) Gardening Gloves: impenetrable bitterness or malleable gratitude?
Do we first cast out the seeds of distrust that we have gathered from too many engagements with embittered enemies? Or do we extend a hand of gratitude out into the harsh elements?
An embittered glove is hard and strong, it’s true. Very little can damage, from without the dark casing of negative energies such as bitterness, hatred, and anger. But, it is on the inside of such a glove that darkness truly generates destruction. We forgive not for the benefit of the one who does us wrong, but for the benefit and nourishing of our own soul.
An extended hand of gratitude is malleable and easier to move about with. The flexibility of gratitude is what gives us the dexterity to stay out of harm’s way. So, be thankful and look for thanks in every meeting that comes and goes.
5) Various Gardening Tools
Over Time, all things grow. What are you growing?
The reality is that our meeting grounds last much longer than any of our tools. A soul is an eternal entity. Energy never ceases, it simply passes from one existence to the next. The tools and tongues, the hands and scars, all these will fade away, but the grounds of us will continue.
What then shall we use our tools, our tongues, our hands, and our scars to build? How shall we cultivate the ground upon which our own habitation resides? When we meet with other souls, what grounds shall we generate? Will there be festering wastelands, mysterious and beautiful swamplands, or perhaps wide open playgrounds?
6) Different Gardening Seasons
In what season will you meet? There are many seasons in the cycle of life and all things are not always best for differing elements. Let us no worry so much about trying to control the elements, but rather join with them and find beauty in every moment that you breathe. Beauty is there in the laughter, in the tears, through the pain, and even hidden in the darkness.
7) At the Meeting Grounds
When some two souls meet, they bring together differing longitudes and latitudes. Even altering planes dip and bend, or reach and incline towards each other. It is in this coming together, the leveling of the playing field, that we can discover if two are well matched for a continued adventure of exploration, or even that mystical wonder of intimacy where two become one.
Sure the edges and the boarders of our grounds may entangle with whomever we so care to choose, but when we physically join ourselves (and yes, I mean sex) with another before first discovering if there be equality in the centers of our souls, then it often comes to pass that our edges are ripped and torn apart with all the comings and goings and hopeful longing.
8) Be wary of Invaders and Plunderers
There are those in the world who only wish to plunder and pillage for their own gain. But I dare say they do so for that is simply how their own soul has been cultivated.
Not all are fortunate to have had nurturing caretakers. Some seeds are cast upon our soul in secret invasions, or deceptive incursions, or simple carelessness as those who are meant to care for us, leave us to become feral.
It is a mighty task to completely overhaul, strip down, and re-sod, re-seed, re-fertilized such a barren place as the soul of one whose destruction bubbles up in stinking, festering ponds of bitter waters. It can be done, but not by any hand that was grown upon this earth.
9) Variety is OK
Yet, just because the grounds of two meeting souls does not balance out, it does not mean that either party is at fault. Too often we accuse others of being lesser beings simply because they do not meet our needs. Their ground is too high, or too low. There are too many trees, it’s too wild, too manicured, too cared for, not cared for enough… This list goes on.
We are all individual beings with worth simply because we exist. Our worth does not come from what we have grown, although much of what we grow reveals the secrets that fertilize our soul up from beneath the visible ground.
We are worthy ground simply because we are. And in that Truth, we must endeavor to respect and consider worthy all other ground that exists as well… even the ones that tear and destroy. Although I recommend respecting and considering such places from as far away as possible so as to not contaminate your own soil by simple proximity.
10) Maintaining Borders
But keeping away, or maintaining your own boarders, does not mean that all who are without are enemies. They simply are.
Wars upon the edges of our souls churn up dust storms and the particles that fly about us choke up the air. The clouds blown about by such digging up and tearing apart become the very pollution that fogs up or poisons our air and keeps the Light from nourishing our desperate soily souls.
I could say more of wars and rumors of wars, but for now, let me rather come to Love: that ever elusive mystery we all seek.
11) Colonization and Expansion
How may it be that two vastly differing grounds can meet together and merge into one place, yet not disappear into each other, but rather expand each other, bringing to light all the wonders that each individual place may hold.
How can two join together in such peace and companion-ability as to keep sacred and hidden away the precious meeting places where the depths of two souls become one hallowed ground.
And how on earth do two souls that have this capability ever meet, much less learn from each other and not blow up all the great things developed by accident or dis-tempered and regret laden intent?
How indeed. That is the question of the ages and the one that keeps us all moving round about seeking, growing, nourishing ourselves, and reaching, ever reaching out.
For those who have found such meeting grounds and playing fields, I wish you well and watch with delight as you prune and weed, grow and cultivate beautiful love.
12) Garden of Solitude
For those of us who discover that some meeting grounds are beautiful for a time, yet for many reasons, most of which lie hidden beneath the visible, there comes a parting of ways and the roots and tendrils, vines, and circuitry that have become entwined together must now, somehow, be pulled apart. Know this, my hurting friends, there is hope, but it comes with new, healing growth in Time.
I still seek a fellow playground with whom I may join and explore this wondrous adventure of life. I see many with whom I am fascinated by their landscape. Yet on further exploration, I discover levels beyond my reach and mountains I am too weak to climb. And for my own part, I know my own landscape and am well aware of the valleys and secret places that others might find foreboding or too complicated for consideration.
Again, these things don’t mean that either one of us is lesser, or worse, or better than the other. It simply means that not all who come together are equal in matters that enable us to keep holding on. Our boarders bump and grind to the music of our own soul and we grasp trying to hold on. Yet sometimes the beat is out of sync and we simply need to let go.
There is no shame in that. Pain, yes, and often deep. But pain need not be something that frightens us so badly as to make us avoid it. Pain often simply reminds us that we are alive. And that is a good thing, so keep breathing through the pain. Time will heal all wounds.
13) Watch your Garden Walls
Remember I mentioned those options of casting first with the hard parts of ourselves for they are frequently indestructible from the outside? Keeping that shell barrier and the high walls about us so that we may keep the tender, wounded parts of us safe; there is need for balance there.
What if I told you that the hard shell and high walls serve less to keep others out and more to keep in the bitter toxins that secretly fester beneath?
14) Soil Maintenance
Be wise, my fellow gardeners. Dig up the festering pits and cleanse with fresh water the parts of your soul that need new life. And do not cast the pearl seeds of your treasures out among the pigs who know not what they are and therefore trample them underfoot.
However, be careful and be sure to open the gates to those who might wander with care upon the pathways of your life, for you never know what treasure seeds they bring with them.
When seeds are planted, or fall upon the fertile soils, and they take root to spring up a plant that you care not to have in your garden, simply pluck it up. Do not let the thorns and weeds and noxious vines trouble you. Simply work to pull them up, tear them out, and burn them up. Have a bonfire and celebrate your good effort! But, remember that a weed is only a plant that you don’t want. One soul’s weed becomes another soul’s tree fort.
15) Assistant Gardeners
If you are tired and find you cannot work in your garden for it has become too much for you to bear, then invite another gardener in to help you. Know, of course, that other beings will have their own baggage of seeds that may drop about. And know that ultimately you are responsible for the state of your own garden and those whom you allow or delegate to work within it.
But take heart, for we are not alone in this. We are all grounds upon a universe of forest, with wonders and mysteries enough for more than we will ever dare to discover.
16) Professional Care
If you find your garden is in need of professional care… let me tell you a secret Truth.
There is a Gardener, the Original Gardener that created us all, and He longs to share the secrets of His trade with you. Should you have need of more efficiency, a breath of fresh new ideas, or even a complete overhaul, The Gardener cannot wait to come and play within your boundaries and show you all the secret wonders that are still hiding deep within. You are so much more than the simple make up of all that is seen about you; by others, or even by yourself.
So- GROW my friends. Be the wondrous cultivation that you can be. Find within the walls of your own self the many glories that you already hold within as well the magnificence of what may come. Work hard. Play hard. Ignite your imagination with delight as you learn to discover just how amazing and beautiful you are.
18) You are a Beautiful Soul Garden
You are beautiful and wondrous simply because you exist. Do not call me a liar just because you don’t see this. Sure there may be a great deal of weeding and pruning and hard labor that is required to bring about the nourishing beauty that still hides in your potential.
But the most secret, secret of all Secrets is that everyone feels this way.
All of us are working on our gardens. All of us are hurting. All of us are lonely. All of us just long to find that one Love with whom we may join and have that bliss there is in the sacred union of two souls. And even when we find that sacred union, we still have to prune and weed and grow!
But what else are you going to do with your life?
So get digging!