Last week I began my Farm Lessons series with some talk about getting to the root of things. Today's analogy comes from a former client who has given me permission to share it with you. We realized after a few weeks of working together that we both loved using analogies for our sessions. This was my green light to go analogy-heavy and help him “get to the root” of the things he wanted to change. When we completed our sessions, he relayed how helpful this was to him. In order to spread the wealth, today is all about taking a look at your garden, accepting it for what it is, and remembering not to fall prey to comparison.
We are going to get a bit metaphorical now so bear with me! Imagine your garden is the totality of who you are. The soil is your personality, inherent and unique to the land just like your personality is unique to you. The weeds may represent the recurring issues that come up in your life and that you have to work at maintaining. The plants are what you choose to fill your garden with aka what your life consists of. How you tend to your garden is all personal choice, such as the type of fertilizer you use and how seriously you care for your garden. As with anything in life, some factors are uncontrollable, like weather.
We need to understand the uniqueness that our individual soil brings to our lives and work with it the best that we can. For example, the farm that I am currently working on has what I would consider to be very difficult soil. It is clay-like, hard, and some things do not grow well in it. Although, many vegetables prosper in this type of soil. I could take the route of getting frustrated with it, complaining, and wishing my soil were more dirt-like but what would be the point? When we accept certain things about our “soil” that we cannot change, like having a type-a personality or being energetic, we are in a better place to work with rather than against ourselves.
Another very important thing for us to remember is that no two gardens will be the same. We may see someone who looks like they have it all together and in turn think many negative things about ourselves and our lives. My client and I would work through this comparison trick that our mind plays on us. He would tell me “I bet their garden is perfect." I would challenge this way of thinking by asking how he evaluates their garden and what relation that has to his life. In reality, we have to consider that each individual has different soil and tends to their garden differently.
Externally it may appear that someone else has it all. When we compare, we can begin getting envious or down on ourselves. We may think "I wish I had their garden" and assume that their life is one that is "better" than our own. This way of thinking is a huge disservice to ourselves. Comparison takes the focus and connection away from ourselves and our garden. It places energy into something meaningless and uncontrollable.
Instead of comparing, try putting a stop to it. Literally stopping yourself before you make that comparison statement. For example, when you see someone who appears to be happy and have it all together, stop your mind at that. Do not allow your mind to go forward in making a comparison to what this means for your life or how your life could be better. When we appreciate others and compare less, we are able to appreciate our own unique garden much, much more.