Healthy Relationships: Building Strong Connections is Similar to Gardening
Whether you're raising kids, or building a marriage or a business, it's important to fertilize, cultivate, and nurture in order to see growth. Building strong connections that last is a lot like creating a garden. There's soil to till, seeds to plant, watering to be done, and a lot of other preparations. If the ground isn't soft enough, or fertilized properly, the plants will wither. In order to grow a successful garden you've got to be committed; it's an investment of your time, energy, and resources.
For a long time, Matthew Carroll dreamt of a garden. A serene place where he could grow his own vegetables and herbs like basil to use in homemade sauces. He never had the property to fulfill his dream though until this year, when he took a job with Teen Challenge in Oklahoma City. Teen Challenge is a global drug treatment program that strives to help adult men break the cycle of addiction and form healthy relationships with friends, family, and society. There are locations all over the world, and thousands of successful graduates have broken free from the cycle of addiction by spending a year on site.
"The garden gives them something to do outdoors," he said. "They get the chance to learn a tangible skill, like how to grow their own food." Matthew is a counselor at Teen Challenge, a non profit faith based organization. A lot of the guys that come to the Teen Challenge location in the inner city have been used to drugs, violence, and death in the inner city. The garden in the hood is about creating life, not taking it. The garden will produce a crop to provide an abundance of vegetables to bless the inner city residents they share their lives with. Gardens are a metaphor for almost everything we endeavor to do in life.
If you are good at cultivating relationships, you know that it takes patience. You know that it takes leadership, character, skill, love, and nurturing. It's the same way with your children, business, friendships, and anything else you try to do in life. The things you invest in are either stagnant or flourishing and a large part of it is up to you.
[Photo Credit - Top Image]
How is your garden? What has helped you to cultivate successful relationships with family and friends, as well as make strong connections that last?
Tammy Kling is a life coach, advocate for the homeless, and international author of 29 books including The Compass. Tammy is also the founder of Write it Out, an organization that helps gang members, the homeless, and those living on the street write out their hopes & dreams via writers workshops, free journals and various other resources. She’s also the mom of two boys, an avid trail and mountain runner, blogger, and adventure travel writer.
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