Recently an article about the growth process of plants caught my attention. It detailed the struggles and challenges plants go through to become fully mature. While the article was all about horticulture, I was able to glean principles from it for my own life and personal growth.
According to the article, many household plants are started in a greenhouse in order to protect them from harsh weather in their infancy. The young, tender seedlings need proper amounts of water, sunshine and fertilizer in order to begin its journey and life-cycle process. After a while the plant is removed from its container and transplanted into a larger one in order to allow its root system room to grow. Because the plant is very adaptable, it adjusts to its new environment and its roots go down deeper fairly quickly. This process usually occurs several times during the life of a young plant and each time trauma occurs to the root system. But each time the plant adjusts and continues to send its roots deeper, thus causing it to grow taller and stronger above the surface of the ground.
Finally, when it is time for the plant to be removed from the greenhouse and planted in a garden, it is ready. It has gone through a series of changes during this process and adapted in order to grow and become healthy. It is now strong enough to face the worldly elements and stand on its own.
Now, I am no horticulturist or expert in the field of botany, but I do understand what I just shared with you. I know that plants have a root system and their success and growth is directly related to whether or not their root system is working efficiently. What we see on the surface above the ground is a direct result of what is taking place beneath the soil.
We all are like plants. There have been times when we have suddenly been pulled up and transplanted into a new set of circumstances. Those times brought trauma and drama into our lives, yet we survived. It may have been hard, but in the end, it caused us to grow. Perhaps that is where the famous quote came from that says, “What doesn’t kill you, makes you better!” If the plant does not die in the process, it really will grow and become a beautiful expression of life and the same is true of us.
There are times that I feel like I have lived several different lives. You probably do, too. We have all been uprooted and moved away from situations that were very comfortable and familiar to us, and then suddenly we found ourselves in a new situation with new surroundings. The pain was real. Yet, in time, we adapted. Our roots went down deeper and we became stronger. We may not have liked the process we were going through at the time, but we certainly liked the end results. Just like the plant, the only way to get to where we want to go in life is through a series of “traumatic opportunities” created by the environment for that kind of growth.
From 1971-1981 I worked with kids and parents and families every day. I had a great job as a school principal. Life was wonderful. In 1981 I felt burned out. I moved my family from Atlanta, Georgia to Dallas, Texas to go to graduate school. Suddenly, I was the student all over again. It was so painful and so hard. Many nights I thought I had made a huge mistake. I wish I had known the truth found in this Tip, but I didn’t have this wisdom and maturity at that time. Little did I know I would soon connect with Zig Ziglar and the rest of my life would never be the same. It makes me physically sick to think what would have happened in my life if I had not developed a deeper root system.
When you stop to realize that this is all part of the normal process of life, it makes things so much easier to accept. It truly is the way plants work and it is the way life works, as well. There is simply no way to grow personally or professionally without this process occurring.
When I finished reading the article, my whole attitude toward the insecurities of life changed. I realized once again that the journey we are all on is designed to help us become all we were meant to be. Life is a constant cycle of being planted and uprooted over and over again! We must learn to enjoy life’s insecurities! As psychiatrist Scott Peck once said, “The only real security in life is to relish in life’s insecurities!”
Where are you today? Currently, you may be in a situation that is comfortable, and things are moving along quite nicely. If so, congratulations! However, I would encourage you to remember that it is only for a season. It is only for a time. Change will come; that is just the nature of life. Do not resist this process but cooperate with it. If you have recently been uprooted and are faced with a whole new set of circumstances, remember that it is for your benefit. Learn that the trauma will not last forever and it is all for the purpose of making you stronger and better. Let your roots go down deep and allow yourself to grow taller. Time may move slowly but that is simply the nature of developing a deep root system.
What a great concept to think about as we go through the challenges each day! My roots are getting stronger. I am growing healthier and I know the same is true of you!
Tip: Let your roots grow deeper!
Have a great week! God bless you!
Dr. Robert A. Rohm