Appreciation and encouragement--lessons from a rose

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I have just come in from the garden to write this. It’s a beautiful—but hot—day out there, and I was seized with the desire to deadhead many plants, pot up some begonias, and prune back some thugs like the catmint that is so beautiful, but smothering the lilies, a rose, and a weigela. There are just some garden entities that get out of control without some serious pruning or dividing. As I was hauling the trimmings away, I looked back and saw that there was a rose on the ground that had escaped the pile. I had deadheaded it because it was tattered and brownish, along with some other roses that had opened all the way and were spent. As I picked it up with nothing to compare it to close at hand, and got a whiff of its exquisite perfume, I started “teasing” it with my fingers to get it to open up a little more. I pulled its guard petals off, and saw that once its beaten up exterior was removed, it was actually quite beautiful. Whereas when I deadheaded it, I had been comparing it to the more perfect blossoms on that plant, once I started seeking its beauty and appreciating it for itself, it became truly lovely. So it did not go to the compost heap, but is on my kitchen windowsill where I can enjoy it’s color and fragrance at close range. It just made me think how often we discard—either actually, or figuratively—that which is valuable but which does not conform to some idea we have of what something is “supposed” to be. (And yes, I realize that gardening brings out the preacher-poet in me!)

The other thing on my mind as I worked outside was the encouragement I have received lately from several different people who were speaking to me from their hearts, offering me their thoughts as to what they see as valuable and special that I offer to the world. How very much I have appreciated these loving expressions! I keep a file called my "Atta Girl" file on the computer to put these in so that when I'm feeling less-than-wonderful and valuable, I can go to the file and remember that there are those who believe I AM valuable and wonderful! One of the people who have encouraged me lately is Candy Paull, who even wrote a wonderful book called The Art of Encouragement. She was at INATS with my buddy, Donna, and we had a chance to visit quite a lot that day when I was there. She truly has made an art out of encouraging people, and, while I don’t believe her motives in doing so are selfish, being encouraged does tend to make one want to return the favor! (You go, Candy! You are awesome!) But I believe the true value in encouraging others is that doing so raises the frequency of both the encourager and “encouragee.” You may remember the blog entry where I was in a fairly lofty state and spontaneously saw my dogs’ auras for the first time (if not, it’s at the end of January 21st’s entry) and was appreciating Lilah’s aura, when I said, “Oh, thank you, God!” for the joy and appreciation of seeing it. At that instant, her aura more than doubled in size. I suspect mine did as well, because I felt even more wonderful at that instant. That incident reinforced for me that appreciation for such a blessing raises frequency. I believe that when we are paying attention and appreciating another being, it is a potent frequency-raising activity. Perhaps that’s why it feels so good to not only be on the receiving end of appreciation and encouragement but to be giving it.

That may be why I loved communing with the almost-discarded rose, and why I’m getting as much pleasure from it as a rose with more obvious beauty—it’s not the rose itself that makes me feel good (although the fragrance is as magical as any "perfect" rose's)—it’s the act of appreciation!

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This page contains a single entry by Julia published on July 1, 2005 6:19 PM.

Further studies on the ego and joy was the previous entry in this blog.

Independence Day is the next entry in this blog.

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