Friday, July 10, 2009
What I've Learned From Nature: The Importance of Balance & Adversity
For a long time I was always scared of being swallowed up by bad experiences. I thought if I stood perfectly still and did not affect life, then the hurtful parts of life would not affect me. I wouldn't have to experience pain or hurt anymore. Of course, the side effect of this is that you keep yourself from experiencing the beauty of life too. And the bad moments? Well, they happen anyway.
I've been gardening more and more in the last few years and one thing I've learned is that adversity is necessary for strength. When you start seedlings inside, before the growing season begins, it's always important to have a fan turned on, blowing on the plants. The exposure to circulating air makes them stronger and more resistant, giving them the ability to survive when you put them out in the garden and expose them to the elements.
The same goes for watering plants. You want to water them so they don't die. But too much water means the plant roots will stay shallow and close to the surface, creating a weaker plant. Instead, you give them opportunities to search for water themselves. The plants end up digging deep into the earth, anchoring themselves to the ground and gaining the strength they need to survive harsh weather conditions.
Being a part of nature, people react to adversity like plants. When we deal with too many difficulties sometimes our spirits wither and die, but if we never face any struggles, we become too weak to handle any real problem.
I'm learning not to shy away from experiences I want just because I'm afraid of failure and criticism. And I now know when to remove myself from situations that chip away at my spirit and slowly destroy me.
I've realized it's all about balance and breathing in a bit of fresh air.