How are the gardens coming along?
by Robert S. Vibert
In life, we are surrounded by people and situations. Our interaction with each can be seen as a garden, an area in which the various aspects of our relationship with those other people can flourish or whither, depending a great deal upon how much we tend to the garden.
If we neglect a garden, it will most likely deteriorate from what we want it to be. Forgetting to water it or ensure that there are nutrients for the various plants and organisms growing there is a recipe for failure.
This principle also applies in our relationships with other people. While some relationships require little tending due to the nature and depth of our involvement (a simple hello and smile for the cashier in a store we visit regularly is probably enough), others require that we invest more of our time and effort. Engaging in magical thinking that the other person will tend for us the garden we share rarely works very well.
Successful gardens and relationships require active engagement and that means we are investing in them regularly, as well as paying attention to the dry patches that need some more water, and the parts that need specific care.
What keeps us from being good gardeners?
While some might argue that being a good gardener / participant in a relationship requires us to learn how to do it, there is an important factor which might not be so obvious – self sabotage.
In today’s world, it is very common for people to have the notion that they do not deserve to be happy, to have a successful relationship garden, to be successful at what they do. This notion is encouraged by marketing messages which tell us that we need to buy X or do Y in order to be happy or to be liked/valued/cherished. These messages bombard us daily and it is not surprising that many people take on the hidden concept that they are not good enough to have what they want.
With this “I’m not good enough” worldview permeating their thinking, usually at a level that they are not aware of, people tend then to unconsciously act in ways to make their gardens match up with the worldview. They neglect to tend to the garden, and when it does not flourish, they can tell themselves that this is the result of some defect in the garden or other person, when really, they have sabotaged it themselves because deep down they do not believe they deserve a beautiful lush garden.
Because the “I’m not good enough” concept is one that would cause much discomfort in someone who actually said it aloud, it rarely is seen as the source of much of the pain in our lives. It is far easier to blame other people, our finances, our social status, etc., etc. for our current situation that to look closely at what we do to ensure that we do not achieve the success and happiness we want.
One way to verify if this “I’m not good enough” concept is present in our lives is to imagine ourselves in a situation that we say we want. With all the details we can include, we imagine that we are there now, living, breathing, being in that successful context we want. As we continue imagining being there, we pay attention to the BETIS (our way of talking with ourselves). We notice our Body sensations, our Emotions, our Thoughts, our Images in our mind, our Sounds in our heads (words or other sounds we hear inside). If any of the BETIS are anything but positive, that is a sign that we are not truly comfortable with being in that success we want.
When we feel uncomfortable imagining ourselves in a successful future situation, it is normal for us to avoid that discomfort by ensuring that we do not get there. We will sabotage our own efforts to ensure that we stay safely in our current reality. This sabotage is often subtle, like showing up late, forgetting to do something, giving up early on a project, being “too busy”, etc. All of these actions are intended to make the achievement of that success more and more difficult. The same thing happens with our relationships – in the end, the garden will not flourish and we can blame that on the weather.
Short-circuiting the self-sabotage
The first step to reducing the incidents of self-sabotage in our lives is to become aware of it. By paying attention to what is happening to us and our internal world, we can notice how we talk to ourselves, how we act, how we react, how we are. Noticing does not mean judging – it is simply neutral observation.
Any time we notice that we are feeling uncomfortable about some future success or glorious garden, we can look for internal signs of that “I’m not good enough” concept. Seeing it, we can then release it, using a conscious approach such as AER.
I have seen so much damage caused by that concept and so many unhappy people that I decided to make the MP3 recording of the AER process to release “I’m not good enough” freely available. You can download it from this link. Save the files to your computer and follow the steps indicated.
Releasing the “I’m not good enough” concept from your life will open doors and make it much easier to achieve the success and lovely gardens you desire.
Il faut cultiver notre jardin
Copyright 2014 Robert S. Vibert, all rights reserved.