Friday, July 5, 2013

Guaranteed Not to Make Your Head Explode

There comes a time in the life of every gardener when you have done everything you can do and, with the exception of regular weeding and watering, the rest is pretty much up to the plants and Mother Nature. No amount of you trying to control the weather or the activities of insects and organism so small you can't even see them is going to change the outcome. What will be, will be.

 The idea of giving up control over something is very hard for many of us. Sometimes it is an event, like a holiday tradition, the lives of our spouses, children or grandchildren, our boss (or the lack of one ... like losing our jobs), or even the way we celebrate holidays. "But we've always done it this way, " you might lament when someone suggests going out for a holiday meal instead of all the work and arranging of schedules to have a big family meal at home. For a gardener it might be watching and waiting for squash that just doesn't make it this year, or tomatoes with a bad case of blight even though you did everything, "just like I always do." 

If you were to examine the real reason why having to give it up and let it be is so upsetting, you would probably find that is has to do with a fear that, if you lose control in one area of your life, you'll lose control over your entire life. This is especially true when we get older and so many things in our life seem to be changing more and more often. It is scary when things and people we've counted on to always be there start fading away one by one until you feel as if you are living someone else's life. 

I was listening to Hay House Radio one day a while back and happened on a program hosted by Life Coach Michael Neil. I really love this guy's humor and his way of helping you to see that things are not always as complicated and hopeless as you think they are. One caller was really upset over having to make a major change in her life and Michael was offering her some alternative ways to look at the choices she could make. When they finally settled on the course of action she was going to take, he closed with this promise: "You know, I  offer a money-back guarantee. If you follow this course of action and you head explodes, you get your money back." Obviously he was not trying to make fun of this woman's plight, but he was trying to get her to see that if you make a choice and it doesn't work out, just make another choice. The world will not end, locusts will not take over the planet ... and you head will, indeed, not explode. 

The year I had squash that wouldn't grow and tomatoes infested with blight, I let go of the need to try and fix it myself and went to the experts to look at other options. Sure enough, the following year, by being willing to try something different,  I had so many tomatoes I couldn't give them away fast enough, and squash that could have won a blue ribbon. The year after that I had to make the decision whether or not to give up my beloved garden and follow the jobs. I made the decision to do what was in my best financial interest and moved. My head did not explode and as I sit here typing this, I am looking out on to the screen porch where my garden of herbs and flowers are dancing in the breeze and pesto is on tonight's menu. 

Don't be afraid of change. Finding another way to celebrate a holiday, or watching a child go off to follow their own dream instead of the one you had for them, is not the end of the world. You still have a whole life ahead of you to explore and experiment in. How sad it would be to have missed something wonderful because we let our fear stop us. Honestly, your head really and truly won't explode!

And so it is.