Every morning when I wake up I take some time to meditate and be thankful for the new day. Every morning I start with an apple, eating it in the front yard, on a chair, looking at the plants that I have planted myself. Then I water the plants after putting the bins on the other side of the fence. It is hot and water is needed, sometimes twice a day. I did not know that at the beginning. This is my second year of planting. The first one was a total failure, just because I thought it is enough to put the seed in the soil, does not matter which kind of soil, does not matter the period of planting, all I needed to do was show up once in a while expecting to get some harvest.
Why am I telling you about my planting process? It is because a relationship grows in the very same way and you have to nurture it. You get excitement, interest, you may not know what are you doing, but if you look closer, you’ll see the way. You will understand, that showing up once in a while and expecting the goodies will make you end up with only brushwood. You can’t get anything out of brushwood, right? There is no excitement in it, I’ll tell you that.
Now, you may ask if that makes me a gardener, a real one. Truth being told, we are not what we do, but rather what keeps us connected with ourselves. What we touch and design with our own hands and ideas. We fulfill our life in many ways, we do many things, and if we have eyes to see and ears to hear, if we are aware of the ground under our feet, if we take notice of what’s around us, things we deserve will follow, every single time. Even the relationship we want.
I outline these things just because next time you hear that ‘you need to find yourself before finding the person to be let in your life’, you will understand the truth in it. Just like Matthew Hussey, a dating expert, said: ‘Don’t go to a relationship to get a life, go to a relationship to share a life’. And I think this is one of the best ways to feel love and belonging. You don’t want to go out there ‘trying’ to find a partner, while you are confused about yourself, still uncertain about your life and feelings, still don’t know what you like, what defines you and what are your values. Find yourself first and then an attempt won’t result in a failure. You’ll go and enjoy life and somebody out there will just see that in you, will see the joy not the hassle.
What happened to my plants? Well, I make sure soil does not dry and garbage stays beyond the fence and I get to enjoy the result.
Claire, 32 year old married woman that I once interviewed told me: ‘My worst moments made me see things clearer. I was starting to lose connection, not just to whatever was around me, but to myself. My inner voice was showing me through my own actions that I needed to slow down from all this drama run, face my worries and see what real meaning I was putting to my thoughts, because I was the one in charge. I was dealing with work problems, eating disorder and distance in the relationship. I was disconnected, away from myself, but not alone. Those were the moments when I truly felt who I have by my side. Those were the moments that made a difference, the moments that showed equality between words and facts. I would have made it alone, yes, but with my partner by my side things were easier to digest and became part of a growing relationship.’
Sometimes things like that happen before even realizing that the door was left wide open, it doesn’t matter by whom, it matters what we do from this point. The worst moments bring fear, the fear or losing connection, they bring silence, that gives birth to more silence and less communication. Moments like that always come invited, even if it looks the other way around, they come when mistakes happen and we seek perfection and use sharp words, or when we have unspoken words and suppressed feelings. The worst things happen when we forget who we were at the beginning. Who knows what would have happened if we had a picture of a future us at the very first day of our clock, when our eyes and emotions met each other for the very first time?
Of course, we get tired sometimes, everybody does, but tired not because of adding bricks towards building our relationship. We get tired because unconsciously we add a brick against each other’s love, creating a wall between us.
And here we are, incapable of looking into each other’s eyes, incapable of taking the wrong bricks down, because in our process of adding, we forget which one is the anger, the calmness, the blame, the acceptance, the pain, the vulnerability. We just confuse them; we let those feelings in thinking that they will go away. But bricks don’t fall, unless we seek for understanding, acceptance, patience and love. It can happen that one of us grabs the wrong brick and out of tiredness, confusion or other reasons lay it down. That would be the moment when we decide if we can fix or ruin it.
There are so many moments in life, especially in a relationship, when we get stuck for a variety of reasons but that is a part of building process. Thinking about it, there is no bad or good day, there is only our reaction towards it.
Solutions? It all starts with self-acceptance and equal view, with us being realistic but still having dreams, with a desire of fixing, with the feeling of limitless horizons, with us being comfortable in the presence of others and within our own zone. I would consider routine as a process of destruction, therefore spontaneity is needed. We can’t enjoy a relationship if we can’t enjoy our lives first. We are the base, we come with something that matters to us and it is acknowledged by our partner. And if they like it, they decide to walk along with us in a journey that could become so much better, a journey that encompasses clarity and strength, where personal growth does not come to an end. That is why a true relationship is when you feel safe and loved in your worst moments, but you have to nurture relationship just like those plants in your garden.