I can recall being younger and seeing that my grandmother always had a garden. She loved plants and flowers and would sometimes grow vegetables that she would use to cook with. One of the reasons I want a house is to recreate that garden and to grow my own produce. Every so often her plants or flowers would wilt or die before even fully growing and blossoming. She found this to be strange because she was doing everything right to get them to grow properly. I remember she went and got her gardening tools and cut off all the dead flowers because they had to be affecting the others.
This worked and she went back to her normal routine of caring for the plants. After a while the same thing happened again, flowers would wilt and die before they were done growing. This time around she bought weed killer. Now this would surely help the flowers grow and blossom as they should. She cut off the excess weeds and dead flowers and went back to her normal routine. Finally she discovered the problem was more so at the root. She pulled everything up from the root and started over. She planted new seeds and sure enough the flowers bloomed and were fully grown.
As I got older I decided to plant my own garden in relationships and friendships. I would notice that when problems would arise, my initial thought was to cut off the dead weight to get rid of the problem. I would cut off relationships and make new friends and new problems would arise. Taking after my grandmother again I found a new way to deal with the problem which resulted in cutting off the deadweight again. This became such a recurring cycle that I had to dig deeper to determine the issue. It all came down to me. I was the cause of my own problems and I couldn’t see it. My issue for the longest was expecting people to treat me the way I treated them or having higher expectations for people than they had for themselves. I was also very passionate about anything that had my attention. Relationships meant a lot to me, so when problems would arise, I got very emotional. I don’t mean crying emotion, I mean anger.
I look back and I don’t regret any of the relationships ending because they weren’t all due to my shortcomings. I’m now able to identify situations where I was wrong or even right but handled it poorly. I’m also able to identify times where the other person was to blame, but just like me they hadn’t worked on self and couldn’t identify them being the problem. If you find yourself cutting off people or losing relationships, it could be for one of two reasons: you’re the one that’s toxic or you don’t have a good judge of character when it comes to picking friends. Either way the problem still lies within you.
I hated being misunderstood or read incorrectly. People would form an opinion about me based on how I react in a negative environment or when a disagreement would occur. Of course in those moments you get the worst of me and I never felt any remorse in what I said or did because “I was upset.” I’m sure we’ve all said or heard that before. It’s not an excuse. No one has to accept negativity or insults because “you’re upset, or that’s just who you are.” I learned quickly that it was immature and it only weakened my chances of being understood. I’ve always been easily angered but I’ve also always been sarcastic and comical as well. I would joke about most things but it always came across as rude. Maybe because I wasn’t smiling when I said or my tone of voice, either way it easily triggered people. Usually these were the people closest to me who I thought understood my ways.
People don’t always tell you in the beginning all the things you do that annoy them and the wrong company never tells you the things you are doing wrong. They just ignore it or leave to avoid potential conflict. While avoiding conflict is smart, it can be a hindrance to a growing relationship. How do I know what I’m doing wrong if you never tell me? Well, my issue with that was when they did tell me, I didn’t care. Criticism wasn’t accepted unless it was from my mom or sister. That has taken the longest to change and I respect the people around me now who do it because it has made me a better person. Friendships for me only lasted longer when I was being challenged. I respected you more. I don’t mean challenge as in conflict but more so challenging my reasoning and my motive. You need that to grow and change.
Having those influences around me helped me to really take a look at myself and to pull up all the problems from the root. After I did that I was able to start over and plant new seeds. This has made it so much easier for my relationships to grow and blossom in my garden. Throughout it all, I’m still taking care of me. I can continue watering and nurturing the seeds I’ve sown. If you find yourself in your garden and everything is wilting, check yourself for toxins.
Want to read more? Join my Facebook group Jusbnicole Blog!