I have two acres of beautifully landscaped property with colorful gardens. In each, I’ve planted a wide array of flora: roses, tulips, chrysanthemums, geraniums, daisies, sweet Williams, peonies, and others whose names elude me. One day, while preparing dinner in the kitchen, I heard voices outside. I wasn’t expecting company or the UPS guy so I ventured outside to see who was there. No one was visible yet the voices continued. I followed them around to the front of my house. Still, no one. I stood for a moment wondering if perhaps I needed medication for those voices in my head when I realized the sounds were emanating from below. I looked down - they were coming from my garden.
“What the heck is wrong with you? Are you lazy or just stupid? Here it is June and I’m already in full bloom and you’ve barely stuck your head out of the ground. Loser!” I couldn’t believe what was happening! My garden was at war with itself! I stood in disbelief as the roses and geraniums argued, criticizing one another and calling each other vile names. I was horrified!
“What in the world is going on here?” I questioned. What was supposed to be a diverse assortment of vibrant plant life turned into a battle ground of floral egos. “Rose” explained that while she was in full bloom, her lazy cohorts were dilly-dallying and not taking this whole garden thing seriously. “The growing season doesn’t last forever, you know,” she remarked to them sarcastically.
“Hold on a minute”, I said. “It’s not up to you to determine how and when each flower should grow. The growing conditions must be ideal for each of you and everyone has a unique set of criteria. You, my friend, do not get to dictate the growth patterns of Daisy, William or any of the others. Your role is to be the best you and leave the rest up to Nature. One does not demand flowers bloom. They must be nurtured, supported, and appreciated at each stage of their growth."
Ok, I must confess. This didn’t actually happen and no, I don’t hear voices (at least not from my garden). But I wanted to illustrate an important point. Wouldn’t it be completely absurd if, in fact, nature behaved in such a childish and arrogant manner? We all know that everything in nature has a time and place and one cannot and must not force her to conform to our expectations.
Nature expects nothing. It does not demand, reprimand or threaten. Man, considered the highest form of life on the planet is the only one who violates this principle. When we impose demands on one another to be who we want them to be or do what we want when we want, we create misery and suffering for all.
Imagine, for a moment, what life would look like if we replaced our limited mindset with a more "natural" one and allowed one other to just be?
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Janet Pfeiffer, international inspirational speaker and award-winning author has appeared on CNN, Lifetime, ABC News, The 700 Club, NBC News, Fox News, The Harvest Show, Celebration, TruTV and many others. She’s been a guest on over 100 top radio shows, is a contributor to Ebru Today TV and hosts her own radio show, Anger 911, on www.Anger911.net.
Janet's spoken at the United Nations, Notre Dame University, was a keynote speaker for the YWCA National Week Without Violence Campaign, and is a past board member for the World Addiction Foundation.
She's a former columnist for the Daily Record and contributing writer to Woman’s World Magazine, Living Solo, Prime Woman Magazine, and N.J. Family. Her name has appeared in print more than 72 million times, including The Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, Alaska Business Monthly and more than 50 other publications.
A consultant to corporations including AT&T, U.S. Army, U.S. Postal Service, and Hoffman-LaRoche, Janet is N.J. State certified in domestic violence, an instructor at a battered women's shelter, and founder of The Antidote to Anger Group. She specializes in healing anger and conflict and creating inner peace and writes a weekly blog and bi-monthly newsletter.
Janet has authored 8 books, including the highly acclaimed The Secret Side of Anger (endorsed by NY Times bestselling author, Dr. Bernie Siegel).
Read what Marci Shimoff, New York Times bestselling author, says of Janet's latest book, The Great Truth; Shattering Life's Most Insidious Lies That Sabotage Your Happiness Along With the Revelation of Life's Sole Purpose:
"Janet dispels the lies and misconceptions many people have lived by and outlines a practical path to an extraordinary life beyond suffering. Written with honesty, clarity, sincerity, and humor, this book serves as a wonderful guide for anyone seeking a more enriching and fulfilling life.”
Dr. Bernie Siegel says, "All books of wisdom are meant to be read more than once. The Great Truth is one such book."