Tuesday, March 30, 2010
A few years ago, when I really started gardening in earnest, my mother asked where my sudden interest in growing things had come from. "I'm cultivating joy," I replied.
Of course, gardening was only part of it. But it really was a shift in focus of my life, to turn my energy towards things that I found sustaining and nourishing, and away from those I found draining or painful.
I struggled with depression of various degrees and manifestations for many years. But it wasn't until just a few years ago that I feel I really kicked it for good. I can say with relief and gratitude that it has been years since I felt anything like the despair that was all-too-common in my younger years. What changed?
It sounds like an over-simplification, but in some ways, it was just this simple: I stopped waiting for joy to arrive in my lap, and began to cultivate it. I assumed complete responsibility for my own happiness. I let go of negativity as much as possible, not allowing myself to be poisoned by anger or resentment.
I realized that happiness doesn't just happen. It is the result of conscious effort. I no longer pick at my scabs. It does me no good to dwell upon the ways in which the world has wronged me. Instead, I have made choices that have brought me here, to this place in my life. A place where my energy is spent caring for my children, nurturing my own creative spirit, loving and being loved by my life's true companion, and tending to my garden.
This post is part of the Moms' 30-Minute Blog Challenge, hosted by Jamie over at SteadyMom.