Nurturing An Intimate Relationship Is Like Tending A Garden


Your intimate relationship is just like a garden: you and your partner have decided to plant seeds and nurture young plants as they blossom into a bountiful harvest.

Two intimate partners are two gardeners on a shared gardening journey.

Growing a garden requires a balance of purposeful actions (Yang energy) and of trusting surrender (Yin energy).

Growing a garden with a partner involves the commitment of a shared vision, deep respect of the laws of nature, ongoing team effort, and lot of patience. It’s impossible to force growth because a living system follows its own unique organic process based on laws that are outside of human control.

However hoping for seeds to plant themselves, waiting for weeds to get magically pulled out and relying on random rain patterns to water your garden could mean waiting for a very, very, very long time to harvest yummy herbs, fruits and vegetables!

Growing a bountiful garden with a gardening partner requires both purposeful actions and trusting surrender:

On the Yang action side:

  • Teaming up with a gardener who shares the same vision of what to grow together and who has developed some basic gardening skills. That’s the foundation of the gardening project.
  • Committing to your garden and being willing to check on it on a daily basis. It takes ongoing effort that must be done regardless of feelings that tend to come and go like clouds in the sky.
  • Sharing responsibilities of planting, watering, harvesting and pulling out weeds regularly but being able to step up and do more if the co-gardener goes through in a difficult time. When a teammate is down, the other cheerfully picks up and keeps the project moving along.

On the Yin surrender side:

  • Respecting the cycle of the four seasons; planting in spring, growth in summer, harvest in fall and rest in winter. Gardens don’t continuously grow and soils need to rest between cycles. Surrendering to the pace of nature.
  • Accepting nature’s organic process. Some years yield more than others, regardless of gardening skills and efforts. Gardening is not a meritocracy.
  • Allowing the garden to give what is needed rather than what is wanted. What if nature had something else in store, something much wiser and more in tune to what the gardeners truly need?

As you read this, did you notice that your mind tends to prefer one side over the other? If you noticed that your mind likes to take control, may I suggest you to gently invite your action-oriented self to rest and trust the flow a little more?

On the other hand, if letting go is the usual preference of your mind, how about encouraging that flowing and resting part of yourself to plan more diligently and engage more dutifully in purposeful actions?

When you balance your Yin and Yang energies within yourself rather than subcontracting them from other people, you feel more integrated, you feel more at ease, you are compatible to more people and… life is more likely to give you what you truly need.

Wishing you a bountiful relationship!