With the springtime officially upon us and trees, shrubs, and flowers all taking root, it has inspired me to share with you some thoughts that run through my mind as I watch springtime come into full bloom.
And it's not just watching the flowers and trees blossom and bloom, it's also the smell of spring that gets to me too. Now for my fellow allergy sufferers, sometimes it can be a little problematic for us, but for me I still enjoy the scent of spring whether it is the sweet smell of rain or the beautiful air and landscape filled with flowers.
It is such a stark contrast to, and yet also a welcomed balance to, the increase in tensions driven by crime, the addiction epidemic, wars and politics. Passing by nurseries and homes and communities already abundant with the signs of flowering life, I found myself thinking about a saying I had once read, "Bloom where you are planted."
The successful growth all depends on the health of the roots, proper care like water and sunlight, and more than likely a green thumb. I settled in on thinking about the roots - I thought about the fact that we need to be rooted in love as individuals, families, and communities.
If you are a frequent reader of this column you will catch on pretty quickly that you have read the following phrases in previous columns, but reinforcement of positive and affirming thoughts can never hurt.
So imagine if you will that there are four roots. The first root is love and forgiveness. When we are firmly planted and rooted in love and forgiveness we can face most challenges and obstacles that get in our way personally, professionally, spiritually or emotionally. The roots of love and forgiveness provide us with a freedom and strength that cannot be swayed or compromised by anger, grudges or negativity.
The second root is the root of love and kindness. We all know the saying, "What comes around goes around," or "As you sow, so shall you reap." Well, if we believe in this philosophy, we should be pouring out love and kindness on every single person we meet and in every single situation that we encounter. The root of love and kindness flourishes and multiplies faster than any of the other roots. You can easily test this theory yourself by committing to living a life filled with love and kindness for the next 30 days. Watch as the root responds with bringing even more love and kindness into your own world.
The third root is the root of love and happiness. It is so easy to find the bad things in life when we are looking for them. But it is just as easy to find the good if that is what we are looking for. And when we look for the good through the lens of love and happiness we will find the good people, the good things, the good places and the abundance of goodness that comes with a life filled with love and happiness, and we will find joy.
The fourth root is the root of love and gratitude. The root of love and gratitude cannot be choked or suppressed by envy, jealousy, hatred, spite or just plain meanness. The root of love and gratitude draws its strength from the attitude of appreciation and thanksgiving. We don't love or want what others have; the root of love and gratitude is based on what we already have and have received. And just as the root of love and kindness grows faster than any of the other roots, the root of love and gratitude is the strongest of all the roots.
Some of you may recall the other sayings where they say something is the root of all evil, such as money is the root of all evil or greed is the root of all evil. And if we are not careful and if we don't tend to the care of the roots of love and forgiveness, love and kindness, love and happiness, and love and gratitude, something evil could creep in and compromise our growth and weaken that place where we hope to be so firmly rooted, love.
How about you? Are you enjoying the springtime and all that comes with it?
Are your roots firmly planted in love, forgiveness, kindness, happiness and gratitude?
I would love to hear all about it at firstname.lastname@example.org, and when we are taking care of our roots, this really will grow into a better than good week.
Michael Norton is a resident of Castle Rock, the former president of the Zig Ziglar Corporation, a strategic consultant and a business and personal coach.