I recently touched upon an important piece of the relationship puzzle known as “compromise.” Right now I’d like to attempt to go a step further and delve into the concept of give and take or a bilateral reward system by way of an “Epic Simile.” If our goal as a couple is to strengthen and grow our love then we must be open to recognizing each other’s effort and rewarding them with their needed and desired fruits of their labor and in turn trust that they will do the same for us. Try to think of love itself as a living thing, an animal or plant that needs to be watered and fed, it needs play time, sunlight and rest; it needs to feel alive…
I’m going with the plant idea here –
In order to feed and nurture love so it blossoms in to something beautiful we have to plant it, honestly care about it, have passion for it, and have a deep seeded desire to see it reach its full potential and understand that it is going to take vigilant attention and hard work along the way. Cared for and happy plants yield beautiful flowers, robust herbs, juicy fruits and healthy vegetables. In other words, in my opinion, we need to love and care for our partner so much that we actually do everything in our means to help them grow by giving them all the elements they need to do so. They should, in turn, bare the fruits and reward us by fulfilling our needs and we should both expect our needs to be met and we should enjoy both the labor and the rewards. This love is synergy… Synergy can be ridiculously powerful, but by definition cannot be a one sided effort, both teams must give their best performance.
Much like a plant, when love blossoms it needs to be cared for. It needs food, water, fresh air and sunlight. Many people actually talk to their plants and play Vivaldi for them because they believe it helps them grow into stronger, happier plants! Then we have our lovers; we take them for granted and just expect them to grow on their own and still blossom. We stop feeding them. We no loner provide fresh air and sunlight. We stop talking to them. They start to wilt… We expect them to dig their roots in deep and grow tall and mighty like a Redwood with amazingly thick bark and an impressive canopy creating our own self-sustaining microclimate while feeding itself through months of drought.
The reality is that our relationships often resemble that all too common situation when we decide to buy that basil plant from the grocery store. The intent is great and romantic. We pick up that little green pot and have visions of planting it in the back yard or creating and herb planter box so we can walk outside and pick our homegrown vibrantly green fresh herbs to season our favorite dishes with. We come home from the store and pick a few leaves, chiffonade them and add it to our favorite pasta dish. Delicious! We’re so glad we picked it up… A few weeks pass and we notice the sad little green pot in the corner of the counter. We have failed to give it any attention. We have not watered it or given it fresh air or sunlight. The soil is dry and cracking, its stem is thin and weak, the internodes are limp, the terminal buds are brown and dry and the wilted leaves are dusty. We attempt to save it. We flood it with water and place it in the sunlight. In a week we check back in and find it dead.
Unfortunately we can sometimes plant things like strawberries for instance and care for it “by the book.” It grows healthy and strong but its fruit never matures and ripens. Perplexed, this is often when we decide to seek help from the local gardening store explaining the history from the beginning, explaining the environment and perhaps even providing a soil sample as a last ditch effort to produce fresh, ripe, red strawberries – your favorite fruit. Consider this – if you think you are doing everything right by the book; perhaps you have overlooked the need for the appropriate climate and its time for climate change. I beg you, especially if you are the plant, if it’s a new climate you need then let your partner know. If your partner is doing their job and helping you grow then please bare that vibrant, sweet, juicy fruit that your partner is desperately longing for and trying to grow. Don’t force them to give up. Give them a reason to continue to try – reward them. Help them grow so you can pick your desired fruit, vegetable, flower or herb to brighten your life. They invest all that time and energy because they love you and are passionate for you. Strawberries are their absolute favorite fruit and they want you to grow with them and nurture you forever. You are what makes their life sweet!