As a part of our Social and Horticultural Therapy sessions at Growing Ability, we come across many situations whereby activities in the garden are used to develop our clients socially, physically and mentally. The sessions we provide aim to improve confidence, self-esteem, health and well-being. Project Manager Liz McElroy takes us through one such situation:
This month I have come across a situation involving two members who, over a period of four weeks had fallen out and were no longer speaking to one another. One person felt isolated and was in fear of being bullied and so became withdrawn. The other wanted to reconcile but didn’t know how to.
The situation had manifested from a small incident, something someone had said or even just a feeling. Truth is after four weeks the original cause of unrest and conflict had been forgotten and neither party could recall why they were upset with the other person. However the cause was no longer the problem as other members of their friendship circle had been affected. They were both stressed, angry and afraid of being isolated and bullied.
The situation I am pleased to say was resolved after intervention whereby the two were able to try to recall the original reason of unrest and to reconcile their differences.
Throughout the discussion metaphors referring to weeds were used and how if left unattended, the weeds would grow out of control. Other plants would be affected and maybe taken over by the weeds. The weeds would grow stronger; challenging other plants, taking away water, nutrients and sunlight. The weeds may change into prickly plants, with deep roots that would be very difficult to control. The weeds would spread and become difficult to handle and the roots become really hard to pull up. Experts would then need to be employed and herbicides used to control the weeds.
Life is full of potential weeds. Throughout our working day, an unanswered email, forgotten task, clutter building up around us because we didn’t put items away. Work getting lost because it hadn’t been filed it away. A disagreement or misunderstanding with a family member or colleague. Our health can be affected because we don’t have time to exercise or to eat a balanced diet; spend time with our family or friends. Experts called upon at great expense and even medicines and other interventions required.
Taking stock of our daily lives, weeding regularly, consider what is it we really want to grow and nurture. So spring is on its way, take time to sharpen your hoe and start weeding both in the garden and in your life and nip it in the bud before the problem manifests into a far larger one!!