I was talking to a friend yesterday, and she relayed a beautiful analogy that our mutual friend had shared with her. Basically, the idea is that you should think of your mental life – your ambitions, hopes and dreams – as a garden. So, in the process of life, you’re creating a garden for yourself. It’s a place where you feel happy, secure and confident that your deepest hopes will be realized. It’s a place you can retreat to for safety and love.
As the gardener of your garden, you have to make sure you don’t let anyone inside who won’t care for the garden and appreciate it as much as you. You need people in the garden who will urge it to grow and blossom. We all know that some people can have toxic energy, or can simply suck your energy source dry – those people are your weeds. And weeds must clearly stay out of a garden.
To build your garden, you need nurturing, positive thoughts that uplift you. You need friends who support you unconditionally and hold you up when times are hard.
As we get older, into our thirties and beyond, we will inevitably have more life challenges to deal with. And I think it’s important we learn how to create a safe, loving space for ourselves so we can face those challenges with more grace. I love the idea of a mental garden to be that place.