Have you fallen in love with yourself yet? I don’t mean like Narcissus in Greek mythology. Rather, love in the sense of full acceptance and appreciation of who you are.
It’s my perspective that the most important relationship we’ll ever have is the one with ourself. By loving and caring for ourself, we’re able to give our best to others. That’s why I carefully tend my inner-landscape; why I nurture my inner-ecology.
Gardening from the inside out — a few of my tips:
- Focus on my strengths
- Don’t compare myself to others
- Cultivate an attitude of gratitude
- Treat myself with respect — body, mind, and spirit
- Accentuate the positive
- Be myself
How do you tend your inner garden?
© Laurie Buchanan
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I love how you love yourself, Laurie. It’s given you an amazing capacity to love others also. The narcissist/healthy love dichotomy is such a split in our society and inside each self. In my memoir, and my tradition, the names are pride/humility. Paradoxically, the more genuine love we give to ourselves, the more humble we become. We can be bold and humble at the same time. Took me a long time to learn this!
Shirley – You hit the nail smack-dab on the head with your observation, “…the more genuine love we give to ourselves, the more humble we become.” (And you know what? It took me a long time to learn this as well) 🙂
Perfectly timed for me to hear this today, Laurie! I just love, “…..tend to my inner landscape”. Thank you; I shall start my day in a ‘landscaping’ kind of way! Big hugs and gratitude, Cher xo
Cher – I’m glad this post resonated with you. Happy gardening! 🙂
Thank you, Laurie!!! 🙂 Cher xo
What a great reminder to love and take care of ourselves. I like what Shirley had to say. “Paradoxically, the more genuine love we give to ourselves, the more humble we become.”
Joan – Yes, indeed. Shirley hit a bullseye with her wonderful observation! 🙂
Thank you for this self empowering post, Laurie. I agree this is the most important relationship. I cultivate it by spending quality time with myself. And by filtering out the negative self talk in favour of the positive.
Leanne – I love what you said about “filtering out the negative self-talk in favor of the positive.” An excellent gardening tip for our inner landscape.” 🙂
And that pictures is like magic. : )
Leanne – Isn’t that fun?! (Shhh, don’t tell anyone, but we had several “trial runs” before we got it right)…
I have picked two blooms from your garden: 1. Cultivating an attitude of gratitude and 2. Accentuating the positive. My husband daily gives me a boost to “be myself” by encouraging my writing, happily producing illustrations when needed. I would add another bloom to my garden: cultivating my faith in God, my source of creativity and energy.
Your photo is a powerful juxtaposition. Thank you for always inspiring, Laurie!
Marian – I’m glad you were able to snag a few blossoms for your already burgeoning garden. And I heartily agree with your lovely tip: “…cultivating my faith in God, my source of creativity and energy.”
I love your “gardening tips” Laurie. It’s so important to love ourselves to live a happy and fulfilling life!
Claudia – I’m glad this post resonated with you; thank you for letting me know 🙂
Wow, you’re right. We are our most important relationship. That can be easy to overlook sometimes. It’s hard to see oneself. We lack perspective. BUT, I LOVE the photo and wonder how to created it. It illustrates SO perfectly your point.
Hugs from Ecuador,
Kathy – I’m glad you resonated with this post. The App we used to create this photo with my iPhone is called “SnapDifferent.” It took us a few tries (lining up my hands), but it was worth the effort 🙂
Wow, yes. I have been weeding out toxic relationships, putting in border fencing, and planting seeds of all sorts. My garden is just sprouting, but I can imagine it in full bloom one day. I think it also important to appreciate the unexpected wildflowers, those blossoms can be even more lovely than the ones we planned. Thank you for another inspirational post.
RootsToBlossom – I’m so glad this post resonated with you. I love that you’ve been weeding, fencing, and planting. Before you know it, blooms are gonna be bustin’ out all over! 🙂
I’m pleased to say I checked off the same tipsyou did, Laurie. I’m a bit weak on comparing myself to others, but that seems to get easier to resist the older I get. Occasionally it’s easy to fall into a negative attitude when a bunch of things go wrong, but then a beautiful day comes along, or I listen to some great music or read a great book and all is positive with the world again. 🙂
(Maybe we’ll connect at UWII this weekend in Madison?)
Chris – You are going to have a BLAST at UW this weekend. I wish I was going to be there to share in the festivities with you.
Be Inspired! 🙂
Thanks, Laurie, I will!
Excellent tips, Laurie. I think I tend my inner garden well, most of the time. It was a lesson a long time learning and I still have lapses – but I still have time to perfect it!
Carol – I’m so glad this post resonated with you. And please know that you’re not in the “lapse boat” by yourself. I jump in it periodically, as do others 🙂
I simply love this post Laurie. I also finally get it and it feels absolutely wonderful. Of course I have moments where I forget but they are too brief to matter. Thanks for bringing even more positive energy into our lives. 🙂
Nomzi – I’m so glad this post resonated with you; thank you for letting me know 🙂
Eating well, lots and lots of quiet time, and only saying yes to things I really want to do – although I occasionally slip up with the last one, as my enthusiasm can run away with me.
WarmGinger – My hat is off to YOU for “only saying yes to things I really want to do.” I haven’t quite arrived, but I’m almost there 🙂
Laurie, I can not begin to tell, you how long it’s took for me to like myself . I have beaten myself up for years because… I’m not this… I’m not that.. Now in 53 rd year I quite like being …not this …or that and just being me . I think if you can learn to accept yourself for who you are, a calmness comes with it, and life begins to open you to opportunities, you never thought possible . I implore everyone to do this …because you’re worth it ( is that an advert?) lol
You take care Laurie great post as always .
Cherry – I’m currently in my 56th year and can say with all honesty that I’m completely and totally comfortable in my own skin. However, that hasn’t always been the case. I wish it wasn’t something I’d learned much earlier on in life — it would have saved a lot of heartache. Thank you, as always, for visiting Tuesdays with Laurie. I appreciate YOU! 🙂
Perfect synchronicity that I found you here today…this is just what I needed to hear today Laurie!
Beautiful wisdom as well as picture.
Helen – I love synchronicity! I’m glad this post resonated with you; thank you for letting me know 🙂
Accepting myself as I am right now– nothing needs to be changed or fixed in order for me to love and accept myself in this moment. 🙂
Dana – yes, Yes, YES! 🙂
a walk on the beach does it all for me 🙂
Lisa – Yes indeed. I’ve been to your magical beach 🙂
Favorite line. . .”I nurture my inner ecology”. What a wonderful affirmation, Laurie.
Alison – I’m so glad this post resonated with you 🙂
Laurie, you know that I am a gardener and I think long and hard when I plan what to include in the limited amount of space I am willing to devote my time and effort towards. It has to be worth the trouble it takes to keep it alive and growing and have more than just one or two benefits. I consider my inner garden to require as much upkeep as my physical one so I don’t need it cluttered with trifling and unworthy items. This inner garden is tended everyday, rain or shine. I make an effort to uproot weeds or unworthy attitudes and thoughts. I don’t want unkind or spiteful thoughts sowing their tiny seeds to become bigger problems. However, I do ask daily for help in growing these beautiful and productive crops and flowers, Love, Joy, and Faith…Wisdom, Strength and Grace…Peace, Unity and Harmony…Goodness, Humility. Mercy and Compassion. These are long lasting and useful additions to any inner garden and need daily care to prevent them from being over run by faster growing weeds. There are many others I could name but these are the mainstay and backbone of my landscaping work.
Sandi – I’ve known you for many years and understand how important your garden is to you. I love what you said:
“I consider my inner garden to require as much upkeep as my physical one so I don’t need it cluttered with trifling and unworthy items.”
I know with certainty that you enjoy and share a bumper crop of love, joy, faith, wisdom, strength, grace, peace, unity, harmony, goodness, humility, mercy, and compassion.
Thank you, Ted.
Yes, this is a fabulous response here Sandi, though I am hardly surprised considering your glorious propensity on this front!
I have been struggling a lot lately trying not to compare myself with other people…my friends, my sisters. It only makes me feel less and exacerbates my insecurities, setting me up for failure and the start of a really bad cycle.This was a wonderful reminder about how unnecessary and unhealthy that is!
Victoria – I’m glad this post spoke to your heart; thank you for letting me know.
So hard to add anything – you capture the essence of this one well, and Sandi added a powerful dimension.
I’ve just been out in a part of the garden (actually a piece of road reserve we planted 12 years ago) that I have ignored the last 5 years – and various invasive vines have climbed up over many of the trees (old man’s beard – Clematis vitalba – and banana passionfruit – Passiflora mollissima). My arms are aching from pulling the vines down from the canopy and pulling the roots out of the ground.
I like wild places, and I like to see nature in action, and sometimes, when we introduce a new plant into a new place without bringing along the predators it evolved with, it can cause havoc.
Same sort of thing often happens in my mind. Quite often I am going places where few have gone before, and stuff can grow there that sort of gets out of control at times (and I get that control is a bit of an illusion at the best of times, influence is closer – perhaps more difficult to influence is more accurate).
And there are so many different interests and things to do competing for my time, that often the garden suffers. (My tunnel house is a good example right now – tomatoes escaping out the roof vents and in desperate need of some TLC to get the winter veges planted – but there are still enough tomatoes ripening to stop me pulling them out).
Acceptance of what is is often the hardest of disciplines.
Being open to new interpretations of what is is just about as difficult.
Being prepared to put in the hours mired in complexity, before the simplicity beyond complexity emerges.
Would be nice to find a benefactor to free me from the need to spend so much time gardening, and deliver a bit more freedom in terms of access to tools and information, and it doesn’t appear likely at present.
Ted – I agree that Sandi added a lovely bouquet straight from her garden.
I really appreciate the way you linked this post to the garden in our minds, and how a wide variety of interests and various demands on our time can have a profound effect — not always conducive to gardening (i.e., the wild vines).
The word picture you painted was a great addition, thank you! 🙂
So so true, and one of the first lessons I was given as an emerging adult? One that I miss understood in many ways for many years. Ego ran the show for sometime and still gets in the way once in awhile.
When people ask why I am not in a relationship, I would respond that I am in a relationship with myself, one of the most rewarding relationships to cultivate.
Great list of activities (tips) to tend the inner landscape of self.
Jeff – I’m glad this post resonated with you; thank you for letting me know 🙂
Laurie, many of us have seen the results of low-esteem, which at its worst transcription results in a kind of self-loathing and inability to function and/or interact with others in a positive and meaningful way. There is a big difference between liking and being confident with yourself and flexing an oversized ego, and your form of self-confidence is light years away from excess. You exude self-confidence and a positive mind-set, which in everyday life is more important that just about anything else, since it enforces all other positive pursuits.
Sam – Thank you for providing a great distinction here between self-confidence and ego, Thank you too for your kind words 🙂
Thanks for this inspiring topic and discussion Laurie. I would say I enjoy tending to my outer and inner nature … but also think its important to leave it alone and let it grow. Sometimes we over think and over tinker with nature outside and within 😉
Val – yes, Yes, YES! Sometimes we’ve got to stop stirring the pot and let it simmer on its own 🙂
Reblogged this on Karinconway's Blog and commented:
I love Laurie’s insight…How do you tend your inner garden? 🙂 KC
That’s a great photo Laurie! Along with your list, two other thoughts of being kind to oneself came to my mind ~ realising and accepting that you can’t change your past, and forgiving anyone who has hurt you, whilst learning from the experience, so as not to let history repeat itself. I guess in a nut-shell, what I am saying is leave the past behind, no regrets….move onward! 🙂
Joanne – Excellent additions. Well stated — THANK YOU!
Wise words. And yet, it is always so much easier to appreciate other people’s achievements and be kinder to others than ourselves!
Fatima – A wise observation, thank you for sharing it here.
Great advise because we must know self before we can truly interact with others. Cheers to your positive outlook!
aFrankAngle – Thank you! 🙂
“By loving and caring for ourself, we’re able to give our best to others.” Very wise words, Laurie. I was well into my 30s before I started to understand and accept this. Tending my inner garden – it still needs a good weeding now and then, but on the whole it is coming along nicely. 🙂
Barbara – As an avid reader of your blog, I know with certainty that your garden is a delightful place to stop and smell the roses 🙂
I’m a work in progress on this one, but I am working on it. As I said earlier, Laurie, thank you for always being so positive. It’s wonderful to be able to always count on that when I come here!
Julia – We’re shipmates in the “work in progress” boat. I can’t think of nicer company to share the journey with 🙂
I think that lately the best way I’ve been tending to my garden is to allow more sunlight, and to encourage new growth by gently tending the seeds of discovery. The weeding? Well, yes, some of that, too.
Ntexas99 — sunlight, encouragement, attention, and weeding; a recipe for success! 🙂
Laurie, thank you for distilling the most important aspects of nurturing a healthy, empowering relationship with one’s self. Then there’s more of “us” to give. 🙂
I’m enjoying your blog. It’s a lot easier to love others more purely when we love ourselves…are comfortable with who we are and have accepted our own uniqueness. I appreciate your articles. Blessings to you~