Nurturing The Good

mind is a garden

It is all too easy to let negative thoughts take over our minds.  They really are like weeds.  They are there, whether we want them to be or not, and they just keep showing up no matter how hard we try to get rid of them.  Like weeds, negative thoughts also have a tendency to easily take over and crowd out all the good.

On the other hand, positive thoughts and memories are more like plants or flowers because we want to appreciate their beauty and relevance to our lives.  But if the plants or flowers do not get the nutrients, sun, and water that they need, then they will not grow.  So there is effort that is necessary to make that happen.  All the positive things in our lives are the same way.  We need to nurture them in whatever way is appropriate.

For example, if it’s a skill or talent, we need to make time and put forth the effort required to keep improving.  If it’s a career or other aspiration, we need to keep taking steps towards those goals. And if it’s a relationship (romantic or otherwise), we should do whatever we can to help it grow. That can be everything from being a good listener to showing appreciation to owning up to our mistakes to expressing how much someone means to us and everything in between.

Of course, this is all easier said than done sometimes.  I know personally, for a variety of reasons, it is not always easy to be nurturing to the people in my life who probably need it the most.  It’s very challenging when anything I do or say is being met with resistance, but I have to remind myself to keep trying anyway, and even then I still have difficulty.  It is much easier to be nurturing to people who are accepting of it and who can reciprocate, but everyone needs to be nurtured.

For some people, being nurturing doesn’t come all that naturally, or perhaps they are the type of person who focuses on having their own needs met first.  There are those people who prefer to put up walls and not let anyone in or push people away too.   Or perhaps they just didn’t learn by example how to be nurturing, which is another reason it’s important to be conscious of how nurturing we are being in our various relationships.

Not only should we try to go into situations with a positive attitude as well as reflect back on positive experiences to really appreciate them (see “Taking In The Good” for an explanation as to why), but we need to be conscious about making sure we are nurturing the good so that it can flourish and doesn’t get crowded out by the bad.  It’s unfortunate that it seems like much effort is required to achieve and maintain the positive aspects of our lives a good part of the time while the negatives just creep right in, but we should do what we can to maintain a healthy balance.  The negatives are always going to be there, but it is important that they don’t become overgrown. We need to find the positives in the negatives as well as do whatever we can to keep the positives growing.

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