By: Marilyn L. Davis
When to Plant – When to Harvest?
You have to give before you get.
You must plant your seeds before you reap the harvest.
The more you sow, the more you’ll reap.
In giving to others, you’ll find yourself blessed.
The law works to give you back more than you have sown.
The giver’s harvest is always full. Those that obtain have little.
Those who scatter have much.
Nature does not give to those who will not spend. ~Author Unknown
When I look at the photo of the barren field, I’m reminded that this is fallow ground just waiting patiently for the farmer to plant seeds to reap the harvest. And isn’t that what we do when we share recovery lessons with others?
So, what are you planting today?
Lessons Learned, Shared, and Returned
I asked permission today on a Facebook page to post a link to FromAddict2Advocate and received an unexpected response. It wasn’t from the moderator, but another member of the group who commented, “Your life reads like a manual for service work. Thank you for sharing.”
Oh, I certainly felt good, but it gave me pause because I know that when I share something that I know, it frees up space within me to learn what I don’t know, so it’s a reciprocal thing. Someone gets some information that’s worked for me, and in turn, I’m able to learn what I need to at the time.
I remembered that I felt barren when I entered the rooms, thirty years ago. I’d just given up drugs and alcohol and was frightened, ashamed, and lonely. Most others that were new to recovery felt the same, and some resumed their use and never returned, but many of us found recovery support meetings, caring people, guidance from others, and we stayed.
What Will Grow?
But we were an uncultivated field. However, within the rooms were those who had planted their seeds and harvested them. The old-timers who had recovery lessons in abundance and were willing to share their experiences, what worked for them, and what didn’t, and because they had cultivated their recovery, they could freely give to us without losing anything.
Some of us took these gifts and nurtured our small seeds; we tended them with love and care. Focused on making progress rather than perfection, we gave time, energy and effort to make changes that produced better outcomes.
- We had to learn to use patience, understanding that our recovery would not match our mentors years of experience in a few months and be satisfied with our incremental changes. That was hard for some of us.
- We acknowledged how much time we had wasted in our addictions and wanted to rush the process of recovery as if we could make up time.
- We had to learn acceptance; that we would only make progress, not experience perfection in our efforts. And sometimes, we had to accept that we didn’t understand the directions, or didn’t follow them to the letter, so we didn’t get a bountiful harvest from our efforts.
We had to learn to use our courage; that we could face our fears, make changes and grow mentally and spiritually in our recovery. We had to cultivate faith in those around us, in a higher power, and in ourselves.
When we struggled and broke through our obstacles, we were like a blooming plant; tenacious in our efforts to survive and thrive.
An Abundant Harvest: Now I Share It
“Give freely to the world these gifts of love and compassion. Do not concern yourself with how much you receive in return, just know in your heart; it will be returned.” ― Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free
Today, my recovery field is full of the fruits of my labor, but the first seeds and ideas came from others.
It’s time I considered sharing some of the harvests; after all, spring is the time for planting, and I’m sure that when I share and free up space in my field, I’ll have room to plant the ideas and suggestions that others share with me.
Then I’ll cultivate them; give them attention and watch them grow because I know all the help that I receive will improve my life more. I’ll let you know how the autumn harvest turns out, but I’m sure it will be bountiful.