Love that comes from outside of you is like a flower; once picked, you have no control over how long it will last. But when love comes from within, it’s like a garden; with the right care, love that grows inside of you can live and grow forever.
Just as that flower picked from a garden can fade and wilt, without roots deep in the soil of self-knowledge and awareness of your own well-being, the world may become a harsh environment, one that sometimes seems incapable of supporting verdant growth.
The love that grows inside of you is not dependent on any outside force; you control the climate of your heart. Light and dark are both essential to healthy growth. Fertilizer keeps the soil rich.
Your attention and intention control the flow of the nutrients that allow your garden to grow. When you take responsibility for the cultivation of a loving soul, you are empowering yourself with the ability to create a more loving world.
Love that grows inside your heart can feed you, like garden fresh vegetables. It can make your life more beautiful, like a ground cover of wild violets. It can nourish your senses and your soul.
A garden goes through cycles; from seedling, to vegetation, to flower, to fruit, then it goes dormant, and grows again. When love is the garden of your soul, the moments of dormancy, rest and reflection can be recognized as just that; moments of rest before, in the midst of, and after harvest.
Growing love in your own heart is growing a spiritual garden. It’s not all beauty and ease. Soil must be tilled, and even when the garden is at its luxuriant, verdant apex of growth, there are weeds that must be pulled. Some weeds are more tenacious than others, making repeat appearances. Some weeds are beautiful in their own way, and you may feel hesitant about pulling them. Some weeds may have a stranglehold on your heart, and need to be just as viciously cut back.
All love is not equal; some feelings that we perceive to be love are insidious and damaging to the over-all well being of your soul-garden. Sometimes the swift cutting of a poisonous shrub is the most compassionate act.
Even a healthy garden is not impervious; sometimes the weather shifts quickly, and catches the gardener off-guard. Sometimes weeds spring up overnight. Sometimes pests invade.
Just because these things occur does not mean the gardener has failed in any way. As with anything in life, how the gardener responds to a moment of crisis will define the amount of suffering that occurs, and often the rate of recovery.
Love will grow as you nurture your soul-garden. It will grow as you pay attention to the care and feeding of a healthy internal ecosystem. It will grow as you find the things that feed the health and happiness of your heart. And it will grow as you learn to condition your minds-eye to noticing, and then focusing on the further growth of, those things that fulfill your sense of purpose and happiness.
And, at times, so will discontent, fear, and hurt. But when these elements make a reappearance in the garden of your loving heart, you will find that over time you have more and more skill with the tools that help you to bring yourself back to presence in the beauty and bounty of your own love.
Lasara Firefox Allen is an author, educator, activist, and coach. Lasara’s first book, the bestselling Sexy Witch (Llewellyn Worldwide), was published in 2005 under the name LaSara FireFox.