Planting Hope

Planting Hope

Today I smelled a hint of spring in the air and for me there is almost nothing better than connecting with my garden.  I decided to plant the Hollyhock seeds I’ve been saving from my previous garden.  (Clarification:  this weekend I found the seeds I put away when I moved a year ago! Time to plant them before I lose them again!)

Planting seeds is a wonderful visual.  I hope that my little seeds will become stately stalks of color but I won’t know for many months.  What do I have to lose? I lovingly set them in moist rich soil and wish them a safe journey.

I love giving time and attention to my garden because it graciously receives all my efforts. (and there is no talking back!) I give and give and have no expectation of any return.  Is that a crazy statement?  Not at all, especially if you know me!  It is one of the few things I do where I plan, nurture and happily accept the results.  I have no control over the weather.  I do my part to fertilize, water and place plants where they will thrive. The rest of the work is up to those little seeds.

My seeds are my hope and a reminder that life has seasons.

Resentment is like a seed.  You put it away but it grows—it doesn’t need light or water; just time.  Resentment takes up valuable space.  I think of resentment like an AA battery left too long in my desk drawer.  The acid slowly leaks out and ruins things, leaving a rusty stain behind.

Angry feelings left unattended will seed resentment.  Is it realistic to assume can avoid resentment when anger is a natural emotion?

The next time you get angry, ask yourself a few questions BEFORE you react.

Identify the ONE thing that irks you most—was it an insult?  Someone let you down?  Was there lack respect or appreciation?  Resist the urge to rehash the entire situation by focusing on the predominant offense.

What is your role in the situation?  For instance were you relying on telepathy to communicate? (I do it all the time!) Were your expectations out of line?  Did your mood invite or elevate the situation?

Have you allowed this behavior in the past to go unaddressed?  Do you say “whatever” and silently seethe?

If we understand the anger, we can prevent the anger from seeding poisonous resentment. 

There were times in my life when I wore resentment like armor.  You see, I love someone afflicted with addiction.  Addiction is a disease—not a lifestyle.  I have been disappointed, irate, terrified, and sad beyond words but then I look at that four letter word H.O.P.E.  I have HOPE that he will be safe and find his way.  I have hope that I will continue loving him without judgment.

I also was in a long term relationship where I felt unappreciated; where sarcasm was considered “affectionate banter”.  I thought that no response was the right response but resentment drove out my loving spirit.  I could either make a change or lose myself to the anger.  It wasn’t easy and it took years of contemplation but I chose to end the relationship.  I found the courage to move on, leaving the angst behind.  I still love that guy and we have children together but I’ve grown up and out of that dysfunctional web.

I have HOPE that I will wake up tomorrow in good spirits.  I have HOPE that the people I love will be happy and healthy.  I have HOPE that I will experience wonderful, joyful, loving times and continue to learn from my struggles.

I plant the seeds of hope every single day and I invite you to garden with me.

What are your strategies for stress relief? Have you struggled with resentment?

From the heart,

Cara

©2012MyGirlfriendVoice

 

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