She shifted direction and headed straight for the flowerbed–instead of the car. Observing her movements, curious about the sudden pull toward the plants, I was alarmed to see her bend down and break the stem of a plant in my humble garden.
My mom is a wizard with plants. She knows when to prune, how often to water, and the likes of such plant thriving necessities. I am sufficiently happy when a plant lives a second week of life. Where my mom has plant intuition, I have zero.
She has an established reputation as a good gardener, so why would I question her actions or defer to my own understanding? As she stooped low and snapped the stem, my confusion erupted in a questioned laced with confusion.
Her answer surprised me. She claimed she was breaking it for it to grow back fuller. I saw death as an impending result of her actions; she saw the danger of the plant becoming tall and woody if left unpruned. My mom knew breaking the stalk would encourage the plant to flourish.
Something seemingly fine is sometimes broken to promote fullness and growth. As I was wrapping my head around that concept for a plant, I was struck by the enormity of how that had also been true in my own experience. Just as I delighted in my “still living” plant, I have settled for the appearance of “good enough” in relationships.
Brokenness is bothersome. It is inconvenient. It hurts.
“Good enough” forgets to prune criticism from conversation, turn the soil of compassion, and fertilize the roots of intimacy. It often looks like investing the bare minimum in the life of the person on the other side of the equation.
I have moved through the motions, with an outward appearance of “fine,” while my spirit withered from a lack of wellness.
I would not have touched the plant my mom was drawn toward. It would have died a slow death while I crossed my fingers hoping for its vitality.
>Hoping instead of cultivating.<
I’m pretty good at avoiding painful things, so I’ve decided to start looking at my relationships with fresh eyes. Though not my instinct, I’m warming up to the idea of being broken to be restored, to encourage fullness, and new growth.
Sometimes–things must be broken to be renewed.
Today, I entrust what my eyes can’t see to the master gardener, and commit to tilling my soul soil for optimal nutrition and growth. That will come in a variety of forms, but it will only come if I make it a priority.
Don’t let fear bully you into status quo. Don’t settle for the appearance of good; reach for what is lovely, true, pure, and right. I would rather have broken, dirty nails than a heart void of authentic connection and love.