Have you ever heard of the analogy between planting physical seeds for material growth (such as a tomato plant) and planting mental seeds for personal growth (such as creating a practice of gratitude)?
It’s a good one! And in this message, I’m using the power of that analogy to help you weed out the weeds in your romantic relationship and plant seeds of empowerment for making needed changes.
If you’re feeling disconnected from your partner and what matters most to you, and discouraged about where your relationship is going, this is a clear sign that changes are needed (assuming you want a better quality of life).
Although this can feel a bit daunting (fear of the unknown, how will your partner respond? what if, what if, what if?), what’s so great about this “opportunity” is that you get to plant the seeds for whatever you want to change in your relationship. And all you have to do is be aware of your daily thoughts, feelings and actions.
“To see things in the seed, that is genius.” ~ Lao Tzu
Consciously planting positive seeds for improving the quality of your relationship – rather than going through the motions and settling for what is – is a very beneficial practice and will serve you well!
And in the process, it’s helpful to remember that you may have some deep-rooted beliefs or resentments that are still feeding the weeds…i.e., the unhealthy habits that have grown out of control and are impeding the beauty of a healthy and loving relationship.
For example, your current dissatisfaction with your relationship may have started out as an irritation about something your partner said or did that felt less than loving. And without proper resolve, that irritation most likely festered and grew into frustration, anger or even resentment.
Even though you don’t want this discord to grow, and you’re not doing it on purpose, as long as you’re feeding it in any way (consciously or unconsciously), you’re giving it the fuel it needs to keep growing…and growing…and growing.
What’s in Your MiracleGro?
By ‘feeding it’, I mean giving it your time, attention and focus by the way you think about it. Repetitive thoughts have a lot of power! Think of them as the MiracleGro for the patterns in your relationship. So what kind of thoughts do you want to put in that soil?
On a good day, maybe you can purposely uproot these weeds from your relationship in the hope of them never growing back. But if they’re already deeply rooted, it will take more than one weeding session.
I encourage you to start thinking about what types of thoughts you can focus on that will plant and nourish those seeds of empowerment I mentioned earlier. In other words, what kind of MiracleGro recipe can you create to reap a harvest of honesty, love and respect in your relationship?
Even if the changes you want to make are geared toward finding a way to exit your relationship, wouldn’t it be nice if you could do it from a place of honesty, love and respect instead of bitterness and hate?
No matter how justified someone may feel in their upset, no one wants to feel bitter about someone they once adored.
Or maybe you really want to make things work in your relationship and find a way to reconnect with your partner in a way that feels good to your heart and in alignment with your original commitment to love.
In either case, because we are designed to grow, flourish and enjoy life, we get to use the conflict in our intimate relationships as an opportunity and catalyst for bringing out the best in ourselves, not the worst.
Focus on What You Want Instead of What You’re Trying to Avoid
One of the best ways to tend to your personal growth, and the growth of your romantic relationship, is to stay focused on and inspired by the result you are trying to achieve, not what you are trying to avoid.
As author Louise Hay describes in her bestselling book, You Can Heal Your Life:
“The more you dwell on what you don’t want, the more of it you will create. What you put your attention on grows and becomes permanent in your life. Move away from the negative, and put your attention on what it is that you really do want to be or have.”
So, if you continue to feed the patterns in your relationship that cause conflict between you and your partner (such as lack of communication, not making each other a priority, and/or not respecting each other’s feelings), you’ll continue to get more of the same.
This is like watering, feeding and nurturing the weeds in a garden instead of uprooting those weeds and watering, feeding and nurturing the beautiful rose bushes (or whatever your favorite plant is) instead.
Knowing that only the thought that is nourished grows, you can start being more aware of your thoughts, and catch yourself when you’re thinking thoughts that upset you.
Then, you get to acknowledge and praise yourself for catching the negative thought before it grows out of control, and replace it with a thought that empowers you instead.
For example, instead of feeding the weeds by thinking and saying:
- “Relationships are hard.”
- “Things will never change.”
- “I made a commitment, so now I have to stay no matter what.”
Flip these thoughts, and plant new seeds by thinking and saying:
- “I get to create the kind of relationship I want in my life.”
- “I see my patterns, and I choose to change the ones that are no longer supporting the kind of relationship I want.”
- “I made a commitment to a healthy relationship, not to sacrificing my needs and desires, and I give myself permission to ask for changes when needed.”
Your Thoughts Are More Powerful Than You Think!
When I first learned that the quality of my thoughts dictates the quality of my life and relationships, I couldn’t believe that I didn’t already know this. In my opinion, this is something that should be taught from day one!
After choosing to spend thirteen years of my life in an unhealthy and unloving relationship, the minute I made the decision to start moving my life in a new and improved direction, everything started to change for the better.
I would catch myself thinking a negative thought and then ask, “Is this thought moving me in the direction I want to go?”. If it wasn’t, I knew I was the only one responsible for turning it around, and I learned how to empower myself by focusing on thoughts of empowerment instead of defeat.
Yes, it took time, practice and gentle acceptance when I fell of course (and still does!). But it also felt so incredibly liberating to realize that I’m in charge of how I feel. And how I feel is greatly influenced by how I think.
If I want to feel at peace in the midst of drama or conflict, I have the power to choose peace. If I want to say no to someone who wants a yes, I have the power to say no, even though some may disapprove (sometimes saying yes to yourself means saying no to someone else).
We are each in charge of our own life. No one else gets to decide for me, and no one else gets to decide for you. And we don’t get to decide for our partners either.
Start Improving Your Future by What You Focus on Today
If you’ve been experiencing unhealthy patterns in your relationship for a long time, it may feel like it will take forever to change them, but it won’t. Don’t let the idea of it taking too long stop you from trying. You have many more years of your life to live, and you can start improving your future life by what you focus on today.
So, once you’ve decided which seeds you want to plant, tend to them lovingly with positive affirmations, visualizing, and whatever else inspires you, all the while giving them time to grow.
When a tomato plant doesn’t spring up overnight, a gardener doesn’t keep uprooting the seed to see what’s going on; it needs time to establish its roots and be nourished with healthy soil, water and sun.
If you feel like you’re already at your wit’s end and don’t have the time or patience to let things unfold in a new direction, get clear on your options and decide which one aligns the most with your head AND your heart.
What are your options? In most cases, these are the top three:
- get clear on what you need and take action toward positive changes, OR
- keep things the way they are and remain frustrated indefinitely, OR
- leave the relationship feeling defeated and resentful
The healthiest option is obvious, but it’s not always easy to actually implement. And it’s totally normal to feel that you might need some help with this!
There are MANY great resources of support, knowledge and inspiration that can help you feel clear and confident about your choice (and I’ll be sharing some of my favorites in my next mindful message). For now, I encourage you to begin with deciding which seeds you want to plant for the relationship you desire (hint: they’re usually the opposite of what you don’t want).
You aren’t meant to suffer in your relationship, and suffering only happens when you don’t stop doing what feels painful! So, listen to your heart. Listen to your inner guidance and wisdom. Know that you are worthy of healthy and loving relationships.
Stay tuned for more mindful messages and other valuable resources – giving you helpful tips and exercises to improve the quality of your life and relationships!
With love and support,
Healthy Relationship Coach
Licensed Heal Your Life® Coach
P.S. If haven’t already taken advantage of my HEALTHY Path Process free video training series on finding your answer to ‘should I stay or should I go?’, go to the homepage of my website to watch the short introductory video on what it’s all about and how to get access to the videos. Amazing transformation awaits! ❤