11 January, 2013

Pruning, Time for New Growth

The phrase "Pruning your Social Garden" was presented to me this past week.  It struck me as such a clever way to allow plants to grow strong and be shaped as you see them.  That is the idea of pruning, now isn't it?

Apply the act of pruning to that of discernment, setting boundaries, intentions and good judgment.   You could even liken it to weeding a garden.  When you set about to grow tomatoes, as that is your intention, when a non fruit baring green thing comes in the garden bed, do you pull it? Why?  In this moment you have passed judgment. This green thing is not a tomato plant and will take vital nutrients out of the soil deprivening the tomato plant.  It may even choke out the tomato plant itself.   

How do we apply this lesson to our social lives?  When someone is choking you out, or sucking up the life force out of you, do you allow it?  Are you passive when it comes to your social life, because you fear being mean, judgmental or just don't have the energy to do something about it?  By allowing this element or behavior to cloud your inner space, you run the risk of manifesting more of the same.. that which is not conducive to your growth and development.

Having the courage to stand up for your needs is the inner journey, now isn't it?   Judgments and discernments about what is or isn't healthful to our lives isn't a bad thing.  It is quite healthy, it is called setting a boundary in many therapy circles and practices.  It isn't about labeling the other person, or name calling or blaming... it is about standing up for what is in your best and highest good for optimum health.  Simply put, you are identifying  an energy pattern which does not support your personal growth.

Recently, I have been under attack for doing this very thing, setting boundaries.  It was insinuated, I was too judgmental and this sort of judgment was an offense equal to horrible sins.  Point of clarification is needed here, because I do not judge the person, I observe the action in question and discern if this is something I wish to have in my energy field.  Does this action support my growth, will it take me to a place that I have already healed from?  It is necessary for my growth and development to experience this sort of energy?

When I was pregnant with my first child, my husband and I took the time to write up a letter.  This letter contained our boundaries.  There were family members who had questionable behavior.  This letter outlined our position on racism, discrimination, drugs, alcohol, unsolicited parenting advice to gift giving.  We didn't say these people where horrible and should repent for their sins... we did state a boundary.  "If we are in your presence, please refrain from these activities.  You are free to do whatever on your own time and in your own space.  But when you are in our space, please respect these decisions".... or something very similar is what we wrote.  It was received well and honestly, it was one of the best choices we made as new parents.  We stood up for our beliefs and let everyone close to us know what we were willing to deal with and what we were not.

If one can respect a boundary of another, then there is much to share in the continued relationship.  But if respecting my boundaries are too much for another person, then we part ways.  This is also to say if I am unwilling to respect a boundary of another.. then maybe I am not in their best interest either.  What motivates another when boundaries are not respected?

Identifying healthy behaviors and discerning harmful actions is called boundary setting.  It is not judgment; this person is good this person is bad etc.  It is the simple act of acknowledging what makes sense in your life.  The only person to know what is acceptable for your life is you.  No one else could or should tell you what is right for you.

pruningBack to pruning?  Well if you do set the boundary and it is not respected or you are being told your discernment process for boundary setting is judgmental, then by all means time to prune.  For this sort of negativity is not about you, but something else beyond your control.   In this moment, the growth of your life is being shaped by something else... not you.  As the gardener, you are the one responsible for healthy plant growth.  When you prune you allow for new growth by cutting back the old growth.  Much like your life, you are responsible for the direction of your path, your health and how you continue to grow.  Who is in your life will impact this direction.  Who respects your path and who is a detour, taking you away from your life?  Who is respecting your boundaries?  Is it time to do some pruning?   

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