Watering Your Garden: The Need to Please

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“Some people liken loving-kindness meditation to watering seeds in a garden—in this case, the seeds of unconditional love. 

 

Harsh judgments, feelings of worthlessness, and a constant external focus are weeds in that same garden. 

 

I imagine chronic people pleasing as a garden in which the weeds have been watered but the seeds of loving-kindness remain dry. 

 

When you water the seeds of loving-kindness that are already in you, you cultivate the capacity to let your love grow and eventually blossom. 

However, all seeds take time and tending to germinate, grow, and bear fruit, and too much focus on the end-product is unproductive. 

 

Remember that you’re simply watering seeds and that they will bear fruit in time. 

 

Also, be aware that there is nothing in particular that needs to happen during loving-kindness meditation, including feeling a particular way. 

 

In fact, it’s best to let go of expecting anything to happen during the practice. Focus instead on the simple act of watering the seeds. That’s all. 

 

After years of devoting so much attention to what others want, it may feel selfish or difficult to direct love toward yourself. 

 

You may also find that feelings of unworthiness, anger, or guilt emerge as you practice loving-kindness. 

 

Simply offer kindness to yourself for those difficult feelings.”

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