Being in a time where staying at home has been mandated, the wake-up call to our own personal surroundings is loud and clear. Other than our very own skin, it holds in place a composition of who we are.
How we dwell is a reflection of how we feel about ourselves. Each item we own and every routine we make has the capacity to expand or contract us. The habits we create and build upon in our life and in the home are small looks through the keyhole into the internal landscape of how we are really doing.
As an evolving species, we are always ripe with potential and when we make the jump to adding a new routine to our life we are not only remodeling our physical world but the inner life as well. When the day comes that we are ready to stretch our care to a living plant, we are displaying a core-level meaning of being alive itself.
Want to know what it takes to get to that point? Confidence.
In my previous post I asked the question of why we allow time to rob us of taking on the deeper task tending to something living outside of ouselves, specifically a plant. This writing is a step further and is an observation of the delicate correlation between self-esteem and providing for the flora population.
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We have all felt it when we enter a space which exudes confidence. Notice I am not saying opulence for that is a completely different feeling.
I am talking about value.
It is quality which measures value and is the unspoken sensation with so much going for it. But what is quality exactly?
Taking many hours pondering this very question I boiled it down to a bit of a two-way experience: selfless and self-worth.
A selfless act places something other than itself first- the attachment to outcome is neutralized. Only a person who values themself can complete such a task. The ego is strong, yes, but it also has the ability to work for the soul’s overarching noninterference. By letting go, the bigger you become and when we allow ourselves to let in something to focus on without anything other than the mere pleasure of it, we are set free.
Plants know this. To really get a feel for what I am talking about, go stand outside by a tree at night and you’ll feel that there is no attachment coming from that living thing to you. It’s not from a lack of care, it’s from the secure place in the tree itself to not have to push anything at you. Kind of liberating, isn’t it?
Usually, the term “wild abandon” is placed in a negative context as being reckless, but in an example like the one above, not controlling how a situation goes gives it an opportunity to be whatever it is meant to be. The opportunity of surrendering a facade and being real is the kindest gift the plant world can offer us, humans. And it doesn’t need to happen in the middle of a remote forest, it can occur right in your own home.
When ready to allow, for example, a zz plant to take up residence in our life, we can opt-in to receive a steady drip of companionship from something that just allows us to be who we are. Once that way of being is maintained, it builds upon itself like a stack of blocks. Then, without even being aware of it, we can do just the same for the plant.
A real life example of this loop is when I was a shy 15-year-old who was searching for something inside to show her what she was made of.
I was in my local 4-H club ( for those of you who don’t know what this is, it’s an organization to empower kids in areas of agriculture, science and many other unique interests public schools can’t provide) and a friend and I had to plant a small “Under The Sea” themed garden in a 10′ x 10′ plot for the county fair. It was my first big go at landscape design and plant awareness.
In the beginning, many of the amaranth starts kept dying and as soon as we got that under control some of the persian shield plants wilted under the July sun. There was frustration but one way or another, we didn’t get obsessive over the results and our teamwork bolstered any desire to want to quit.
We had a goal in mind to keep us focused but instead of getting a vice grip on making each flower bloom perfectly at just the right second, we enjoyed ourselves the whole way. Without even knowing it, we put that sense of pride from within ourselves (and as a team) into the ground itself.
We ended up getting a blue ribbon for our display and perhaps the biggest prize was learning from the garden itself how to maintain a sense of what we could really do when we let go of an agenda and just kept it real.
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We are slow to want to admit that even the smallest of acts are still noteworthy to the whole.
That is why I advocate for the delicate undertaking of caring for a plant.
Having something to tend to gives us a sense of purpose and when we have purpose we are stable.
Because of healthy habits. When committed to what is outside of us on a “more often than not” basis we can drop our blinders around being present with other things. Routines paradoxically are the great sweepers of all things mundane and when the result involves the nurturing of a life form, the bud of love unfurls all of its purity to the tender hand who gives it a chance to live.
Insecurity runs unbridled in those who conform to the notion that they have to be anything but themself. Anything but relaxed. Anything but deeply content. Anything but simple.
The remedy for those lies is the selfless-selfworth cycle and it is most easily administered through the care of a non-judgemental plant.
Let us allow ourselves to be open to the possibility of a perinnial state of worthiness and expand that to the others around us.
Previously published on Medium.com.
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