On Resurrecting the Dead (Relationships)
I am not a gardener. Nor do I have one. Yet, somehow I have sustained the vision of having a beautiful garden with a ton of flourishing plants. It is frustrating for me, my family, and my neighbors because the constant plant buying continually and inevitably leads to a “wild field” look that doesn’t match my original concept.
About a year ago I decided to buy a small lemon tree with the vision of someday having giant lemons to go grab for dinner. I think you know where this is going. I potted it, added lemon tree appropriate soil, and then promptly forgot to water it for an entire year. As I watched the tree slowly die and turn a sallow yellow, I felt really really guilty. I didn’t want to talk about it when people asked, yet I didn’t clean it up or throw it away. It looks disgusting and, of course, is right by our front door. After some solid rainfall about a month ago, something inside me said “just keep watering your dead lemon tree”. So I did. Regularly. And, would you believe what I found when I walked outside this morning?!
Now, my mind has been awakened. “So the tree wasn’t really dead?!” “How can something that looks unequivocally dead be alive?” And really what I’m asking is, “what things have I given up on that have a deeply rooted and resilient eco system and is waiting for a little water? What in my life is dormant, but oh-so-alive?” Here are some thoughts for today:
The passion in our marriages. Very often, and usually very quickly, couples end up feeling stuck in the friend zone. Our bodies and sex are no longer a mystery, and a sense of “knowing” one another doesn’t guide us into intimacy, but rather, boredom. So, at age 36 with a couple kids and seven years of marriage under your belt, is eroticism forever dead or just latent and “unwatered”? Many folks ponder or act on separating or having an affair to create an eruption from dormant or unwatered marriages. How do you water the marriage without these types of explosions? What passionate roots did you plant together that is hidden and waiting for just a small amount of care?
Our health and our bodies. As women, we juggle so many roles and often put ourselves last, including our physical health. Often, it feels impossible to re-find our relationship with health after gaining a certain amount of weight or going too many years without adequate exercise or sleep. We begin to lose awareness and connection to what our bodies need, and fear the feelings that will be provoked if we re-connect. What would the gentle watering of daily walks or less Netflix feel like? What “muscle memory” is waiting within us, waiting to be cared for?
Forgiveness, healing and reconciliation. Oh, those grudges that we love to cling so tightly to! The resentment feels safe, and deadens us to the lively emotions of heartbreak, sadness and grief. As relationships suffer and harden, it may feel impossible to fathom the rebirthing of healthy intimacy with friends, family or even our adult children. And yet, we all sit and wait. Even in years or decades of distance we do not give up. We play chicken on who will be the first to water the seeds of trust, to pull the weeds of hurt out of our resilient soil. We have hope in our relational eco-system.
It is never too late to start watering our mind, body and relationships. Though I’m clearly not a literal gardener, I am up for weeding and watering your garden of healing and relational freedom. Please call me!