Monday, June 8, 2009

A Flower Garden Takes Time to Grow and So Must Seeds of Hope

When I lived in Colorado the climate was perfect for Spring flowers. I truly desired an enormous flower garden with fountains, butterflies and splashes of color. Now that I live in a harsh dry environment, it's nearly impossible to grow anything supple and vibrant with color. It takes a lot of patience, constant care and hope.

Seeds, with tender care and nourishment will grow into wonderful flowers. Our lives are just like those seeds, they need to be nurtured and cared for. Words can be used to build, to empower, to protect, to promote and to prosper, but words can also cripple and destroy us and others. It's not enough to just stop being negative, we also should try to be positive.

I used to think that being abrupt and blunt, was just straightforward honesty. I appreciated the frankness and refreshing truthfulness in some people. Sometimes, I find it extremely difficult to remain positive and to respond in a polite manner. Imagine though, that every word is a seed that will produce what it is. Seeds of hope, produce hope. Seeds of discouragement, produce discouragement.

I remember things that were hurtfully spoken to me as a child. Although it's been many years ago, those words still tug at my heart and make me feel a bit of a twinge. Words do have a tremendous amount of power that work beyond the first time they are spoken. I haven't always been successful in speaking kind words, sometimes I've been hurtful with my words also. I've adopted a principle that I truly try to follow:

Never say anything about yourself or another that you do not sincerely want to be true. Speak life and hope.

Sometimes we accidentally reinforce what is negative or ineffective in another person. I recently had a slight tiff with a person in my life. Experience with this person has taught me to expect bad behavior. I've been using the direct approach and being calm and rational, but have I been reinforcing this person's bad behavior? How can I reinforce the behavior I want? Maybe my script to deal with this person should of went something more like this:

"I understand you're disappointed with my choice, but I know that you love me and wouldn't intentionally try to hurt me or my family. Just like you know the things that I do aren't intended to hurt you. I'm sure that your change in plans weren't done with the purpose of overlapping with mine, but they have. Maybe in the future you could prepare ahead of time so that our plans don't interfere with each other. That way my children can participate in the activities you have planned."

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