I've been considering love and loving kindness today. Love that comes from outside of us is a bit like a flower plucked from the garden, without it's roots you never know how long it will last. You can do your best, nurture it and tend it but wilt it will. When loving kindness comes from deep within you it's like a garden lovingly cultivated. It doesn't depend on outside influence forces. You alone control the climate and conditions.
A garden requires both light and darkness. Think of how a seed has to push up through the layers of soil as it reaches for the light to blossom and bloom in order to reach it's potential.
A garden goes through cycles - from seedling, to leaves, to flower, to fruit, then it goes dormant, and grows again. When love is grown in the garden of your heart it's like growing a spiritual oasis.
It’s not all beauty and ease. Soil must be tilled, and even when the garden is at its most glorious, there are weeds to be removed. Some weeds are more tenacious than others, making repeat appearances. Some weeds are beautiful in their own right, and you may feel hesitant about pulling them out. Some weeds may have a stranglehold on your heart, and need to be just as viciously cut back.
Even healthy gardens is not exempt - sometimes weather conditions catches the gardener unaware. Sometimes weeds spring up overnight. Sometimes pests infest. As with anything in life, how the gardener responds to a moment of crisis will define the amount of suffering that occurs, and often dictates how quickly things will recover.
Loving kindness grows as you nurture your soul. It grows as you find the things that feed the health and happiness of your heart. And it grows as you commit to yourself, your purpose and your happiness.
How will you tend the garden of your life?