As the holiday weekend before fall and the harvest unfolds, I am drawn to the landscape of the gardens around my home and how what I anticipated at the beginning of summer, looks much different now. Some seeds and plants that I tenderly planted took root and flourished, while others struggled to anchor, and even died.
Summer bloomed with preparations to move my daughter to the southwest. We were tilling new dirt, which neither of us had ever worked with nor felt in our hands. Having planted many pots and gardens with her over the years, I knew that investing in quality potting soil, plants, and seeds were necessary investments. As we traveled across vast pastures that drew our eyes toward miles of infinite opportunities, I was more than willing to render any investments in order to ensure my daughter’s success.
As summer unfolded, my investment in my daughter’s garden began to produce a crop far different from what I had anticipated. Storms, ferocious winds, torrential downpours, and hot, arid days of no rain wreaked havoc on what I had sowed. My crop was vulnerable and my return on investment in jeopardy. I had no control over weather, climate, and environmental elements.
When my daughter announced that she had accepted a position with a different company in our Midwest home state and was moving back, my farm shares plummeted and my investment fell vulnerable to capital loss. I was shaken. But why?
From a loving place, I was investing in my daughter’s future because I cared, wanted the best for her, and felt compelled to invest in her journey. Yet, when I stepped back and scanned the landscape, I owned that I was also investing in my fear of judgment, criticism, and failure as a parent. In other words, “If I set her up perfectly, with everything she needs, she will succeed, and I will have proved to everyone that I am a good parent and raised a successful daughter.” Ah…the plow of insight.
The investments we make in others will most likely not turn out as planned…especially if our own personal expectations or needs are attached to the investment. If we invest in someone or something in order to hide from fear or silence some egocentric mindset, we will suffer; trust me.
My daughter has now returned safely to her Midwest home. She invested in her trip back…and I sense that the investment in herself was much more meaningful and growth-fostering than I could have ever provided, or controlled. In other words, when I released the inner need to invest in her return as I did in her departure, as challenging as it was, she reaped the harvest. She grew, gained wisdom, centered, risked, and the venture was all on her terms, not mine.
I leave you with this: As you contemplate investing in others, get clear regarding what you are cultivating and for whom. If you chose to invest in propagating gardens besides your own, be clear about your intentions, expectations, and anticipated harvest. Investing in others will not fulfill that which you are lacking, seeking, or fearing. If your investment is aimed at serving some inner fear, agenda, or expectation, you might be surprised that what you reap might not be what you sowed.
However, if your investment is to simply propagate without expectations or anticipated outcomes, you’ll mostly likely feel content and joy with the bounty of your harvest. With abounding love and gratitude, I am.
Sending you inspiration,