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Tend Your Own Garden

August 15, 2012

I have long forgotten where I found the following writing, or who wrote the original.  It sits in a frame on the windowsill in my office, for the most part ignored.  I remember changing some of the wording, and shortening it, but this maintains the essence.

When I read it yesterday it seemed like an especially timely and poignant reminder for me.  That life is short, that I am enough, and that every time I push myself beyond my comfort zone in support of what is meaningful to me, I am rewarded with color and vibrancy and richness beyond my wildest imaginings.


After a while you learn the subtle difference between holding a hand and chaining a soul.

You begin to understand that love doesn’t mean leaning, kisses aren’t promises, and company doesn’t mean security.

You begin to accept your defeats with your head up and your eyes open, with the grace of an adult.

You learn to build all your roads on today because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain for plans.

And finally, you learn that even sunshine burns if you get too much.

So plant your own garden and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.

From that you will learn that you really can handle it, that you really are strong, and you really do have worth.


If this resonates for you please leave a comment and share your thoughts.

I’m wondering if there are topics you’d like to introduce for discussion.  I’d really welcome your ideas for future post topics.



  1. Karen says:

    I am the one who shared this writing with you many years ago, Robyn. And, like you, I don’t recall it’s origin but I do remember the impact it had on me when I first read it. After reading your intro and as I began to read the piece, I smiled bigger as I worked my way through it. When I finished (with happy tears), I realized it resonated as much with me today as it did back then when I used it as my mantra and shared it with those who meant the most to me. Funny how time doesn’t erase how you feel about loved ones and the impact of precious words — both who have guided you along your life’s path. Thank you, Robyn.

    • robyn1001 says:

      Hi Jennie, I think you nailed it–I suspect it’s about the learning, not the arriving! When I think about it that way, it helps me start appreciating the learnings, all of them, one after another. Love, Robyn

  2. Carol says:

    Thanks for the reminder that we are worthy as we were created, and not to depend so much on what others think.
    I’m doing fine — My mom’s 1 year was 8/20 — all is well. Thank you again for your caring support during my time of need. God blessings !

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