Nurture |ˈnərCHər| , verb [with obj.] care for and encourage the growth or development of.
My aunt nurtured my love of art. When was the last time you were left waiting without anything to distract your attention? Just you in the company of passing time.
What arises when we are left with space in the flow of a busy, distracted life: Anxiety? Anger? Peace? Ease?
You could think, “I wonder why she is so late?” and then let yourself indulge in the thoughts of all sorts of scenarios.
Negativity and drama are incredibly seductive. Hate, fear and impatience are so sneaky that sometimes even I don’t realize when they have taken over certain situations in my life. By indulging in these actions, even if only in thought, are we nurturing the world within us?
Furthermore, are we serving the world around us? I think you know the answer here. What we nurture, what we choose to nurture, is what strengthens. The Buddha said, “we live in the realm of ten thousand joys and 10 thousand sorrows that march through our lives according to the laws of reality that have always been in place,” and it is true.
Almost every time someone I know has a healthy baby, or new job or earned success there is a matching illness or death or heartache somewhere else. For every pie I bake perfectly, there is another cookie or roasted vegetable that is burned or over-seasoned.
Like life, sometimes things work and sometimes they don’t; even in the most tried technique.
Simply put, life balances itself out. Neither good nor bad, but perfectly imperfect. Water, poured into a bowl is defined by the shape of the bowl.
If we pour the water onto the sidewalk, it is then defined by the shape of the gravel, the cracks in the cement and the shape of the ground. If we nurture the full spectrum of needless drama of our own mind’s capacity, it shapes our lives, our culture, our world.
Awaken and choose wisely. A Native American elder once described his own inner struggles in this manner: “Inside of me there are two dogs. One of the dogs is mean and evil. The other dog is good. The mean dog fights the good dog all the time.” When asked which dog wins, he reflected for a moment and replied, “The one I feed.”
Serve the world. Awaken. Nurture the positive.
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Assist Editor: Bruce Casteel/Ed: Sara Crolick