Protecting Our (Emotional) Garden

I like to think of the soul as a garden. It is up to each of us to tend to what goes into and out of that sacred space.

With COVID-19 in full force worldwide, the previously heated political climate is now past its boiling point. Turn on your TV, scroll through social media and you are catapulted into a world of information overload and with it, a myriad of strong and often divided opinions.

It is easy to get overloaded in our 24/7 news coverage world; it is also easy to get persuaded to share our opinions, to “like” a friend’s political cartoon or meme or offer an angry emoji to show support for said friend’s left or right wing views. And if you are comfortable doing so, that’s great, keep doing you!

But there is a fine but distinctive line between supporting a friend and abdicating your own comfort level; it is one thing to support a cause important to you and another to feel cyber-pressure to agree with something or someone online when you don’t feel comfortable sharing.

In our omnipresent social media world (particularly now that we are flattening the curve through social distancing), we are hungry for connection. After all, we are humans, connecting is what we DO. Yet we owe it to ourselves to share what each of us wants to share, not feels obliged to share.

I like to think of the soul as a garden. It is up to each of us to tend to what goes into and out of that sacred space. What makes your space fertile might cause another’s to perish. I encourage you to reflect on what helps keep your emotional “garden” flourishing.

When I was a little girl, I recall hearing the phrase “There are two things you don’t talk about in public: sex and politics.” Of course, I didn’t get it at the time. Now as an adult, I know that the world isn’t black and white and this pithy statement is no exception. But it is a cliché for a reason: it is a reminder that certain topics are either gateways for growth or destruction.

So how do we know when politics, sex or any other impassioned topics are healthy or harmful to “air and share”?

The answer is simple but not easy: heed your inner garden each time someone or something online or in the news stands at its entrance. Each time, depending on the topic and/or person, your garden might perk up or shudder. The key is to listen to its personal message to you and you alone.

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