Gardens are not made by singing "Oh, how beautiful," and sitting in the shade. Rudyard KiplingAnd a beautiful life is not made by sitting back and thinking about all that you could do. A beautiful life is created by actively becoming involved in the creative process.
I have sat back many a time and bemoaned the lack of, excess of, scant reference to what I want or don't want in my life. I have sat on the teeter totter of my happiness and lowered myself to the ground with my thoughts of 'why am I so unhappy?', 'what's wrong with me, or him, or her or them?', 'where's the beef?'
Sitting back in the shade is good for a hot day after toiling in the garden dirt, weeding out errant stalks of discontent and planting seeds of beauty. Sitting back in the shade doesn't create more of what I want when it's performed with nary a muscle strained or back bent over the garden hoe.
I want, love, passion, joy, beauty, commitment, openness and intimacy. I want a relationship where I feel cherished. I want a relationship where I am actively engaged in the creation of a beautiful life.
To be actively engaged I must strain a muscle, stretch an arm, bend a little. I must engage to be engaged.
Which is why it always comes as such a rude awakening when I come up front and centre with my own 'schtick'. You know, that game of, 'if only [insert name of other person here] would....'. That place where we'd be happy if [insert name of other person here] would quit, do, become, say, think, be....' different than who they are.
See, that's the thing about a loving relationship. For all my thinking about what the other person should quit, do, become, say, think, be... I am the only person I can affect. And when my thinking is all about what the other person is doing, saying, being, then I am sitting in the shade not shovelling anything but angst and self-denial.
Yesterday, C.C. and I got into the swing of the the push/pull, shove/bend of our relationship. We skirted issues, fenced around our feelings, dug into the topsoil of our discontent. We weren't getting much of anything other than a whole pot full of 'you said, I said,' until we decided to dig in and unearth what was at the root of our discomfort.
It's then I saw my best lying fallow in the soils of 'why can't you just open up and be more like me'. Over the years I have ploughed up my angst, and pulled out lots of weeds of discontent. I've churned up the soils of history, laid seeds of happiness in many areas of my life. But, in relationship, I was still mucking about in the pastures of 'it's not my fault I'm emotional. If you would be more open I wouldn't get so... [fill in the blank].'
I create what I fear.
In my fear of being hurt, I was creating acres of rich soils for hurt to take root.
It was a rich and productive conversation. I have been guilty of sitting in the shade waiting for someone else to toil in the garden of love, wishing for beauty to spring up with just a look or glance or touch.
I cannot create beauty in my life without my becoming actively engaged in its creation.
It's the law of nature.
The question is: Are you sitting back in the shade expecting someone else to do the dirty work? Are you willing to get mired in the muck of your own creation and dig deep into whatever it takes to create the life of your dreams?