See these sweet little purple flowers? Would you believe that I feel guilty every time I see them? Let me explain…
This year we decided to plant a myriad of wildflower seeds in a couple of small, shallow, afterthought flower beds. We only ever see a handful of these particular blooms, and it’s easy for me to feel like I have failed these seeds. I berate myself questioning why I didn’t give them more of what they needed---more room, more sunshine, more water. The fear-based less-than part of me can work myself into criticisms so harsh that I can hardly stand to look at these tender miracles.
Here’s the kicker: The reason there isn’t more of these is because there’s an over-abundance of other flowers! What?! We never dreamed SO MANY of the seeds would take. Further, the sunlight and water are being hijacked by the ginormous yet to bloom sunflowers that are already taller than the roof! Huh?!
If I let myself focus in too tightly on the growth of one group of seeds, it’s easy for me to feel like I may have botched the whole effort. Yet, if I allow myself to be in awe of the wonder of life unfolding before me, my heart bursts open.
Do you see how the emphasis of narrative changes everything? This is the wreckage available in being too attached to end results and being short—or near—sighted in perspective.
And we do this ALL THE TIME. Maybe you scoff at how I could sincerely internalize an empathetic connection to those little blooms, but I know you have your own stories, your own attempts/plans/investments/dreams that you critically evaluate based on your original expectations.
Much, if not most, of the time we cannot control for all the variables contributing to end results (thank goodness—those sunflowers!!!), so it’s ineffective and detrimental to focus exclusively on them. Much more is to be gained by focusing on your intentions, your efforts, the whole of the process, and enthusiastically celebrating the magic which interplays with you always.
Don’t let your commitment to an end result rob you of appreciating the unexpected.