What You Nurture Reflects Your Nature

Most ground is fertile, but you reap what you sow. Be careful what you plant, and remember that what you nurture reflects your nature.

I recently posted the above line on a social networking site after being repeatedly “inspired” by people who would invest so much energy in negative issues in their lives, and then wonder why their life was full of so much negativity. Positive relationships were not being nurtured, and potential opportunities were being missed, all in the quest to make bad stuff better (not good, just better).

The response was varied, ranging from literal conversations about gardening to more abstract ideas.  While gardening wasn’t what I had in mind, it was a great analogy and a good starting point for understanding this idea.  If you have a garden full of weeds, and you spend time talking to and watering the weeds, the end result is a mess of weeds.  Not only are the flowers or food plants not able to thrive, they are starved out. And such is life. If you nurture the relationships with negative people and negative situations, not only are the positive relationships not nurtured, those positive people don’t want to be around you and your toxic environment.  You are left without food (nourishment) and flowers (beauty) in your life.

Does it sound cruel to suggest that one needs to weed out toxic relationships?  What about with family members? Happiness might be difficult to grasp if hampered by guilt; after all, eliminating or not nurturing family relationships equates to abandonment, right? Blood is thicker than water, or is it?

The late Anthony de Mello taught about the romanticization of “sacrifice in the name of love” — where the sacrifice is one’s happiness and well-being. We have been taught that caring for one’s own health and happiness is selfish. The people you might decide to stay away from are usually the first to call you selfish (how dare you choose to be happy and well instead of putting up with me!). So who’s the selfish one now?

What you nurture reflects your nature.  You might think that you are just a very nice person, and this could definitely be part of it.  However, are you nurturing positive ideas, opportunities, and relationships? Or are you casting these aside to focus your time and energy on the negative. What do your choices say about your own nature?

I feel for you. Really.

A more non-scholarly explanation of a thread of neuroscience research, some from the University of Washington. It will be interesting to see where they go with this over the next several years.

“…while almost all humans use mirror neurons, empaths are finely tuned to theirs. Empaths seem to display inexplicable powers of sense. They sometimes know that people in distant places are in trouble, or that something is going to happen before it does. This has resonances in the animal world, wh…”

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Why I Am a Male Feminist

Article Description: “The word turns off a lot of men (insert snarky comment about man-hating feminazis here) — and women. But here’s why black men should be embracing the “f” word.”

Excerpt from article:

I attended a workshop about preventing gender violence, facilitated by Katz. There, he posed a question to all of the men in the room: “Men, what things do you do to protect yourself from being raped or sexually assaulted?”

Not one man, including myself, could quickly answer the question. Finally, one man raised his hand and said, “Nothing.” Then Katz asked the women, “What things do you do to protect yourself from being raped or sexually assaulted?” Nearly all of the women in the room raised their hand. One by one, each woman testified:

“I don’t make eye contact with men when I walk down the street,” said one.
“I don’t put my drink down at parties,” said another.
“I use the buddy system when I go to parties.”
“I cross the street when I see a group of guys walking in my direction.”
“I use my keys as a potential weapon.”
“I carry mace or pepper spray.”
“I watch what I wear.”

The women went on for several minutes, until their side of the blackboard was completely filled with responses. The men’s side of the blackboard was blank. I was stunned. I had never heard a group of women say these things before. I thought about all of the women in my life — including my mother, sister and girlfriend — and realized that I had a lot to learn about gender.

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