The globally renowned herbologist’s answer to how her plants grow healthier and faster than average stunned the reporter.
“Studies have shown that talking to plants helps them grow faster. I believe the sound of a soft, caring voice is perceived as vibrations, and plants can sense the love you give to them. Kind of like humans or animals do”.
“But they also give something back. When I’m in my greenhouse, I also get a much-needed psychological boost. Spending time with and around my green-leafed friends can be calming and it promotes good mental and physical health”.
A good friend once advised me that in any relationship you should not give too much all at once and up front. It will prompt greed, because people always want more but are too selfish to admit it is so.
Unfortunately, some people can’t help being kind, and giving others their all, unconditionally, without asking for anything in return. Nothing other than acknowledgment and respect.
Some things that are obvious for some are not at all for others. But when you have to ask for even those common-sense issues, their value is automatically lost.
We grow irritated and angry when we feel we are not taken into account, when we are not prioritised as highly as we wish, when we witness that our voices are not heard.
Anger leads to rage, and as our hearts grow further apart we yell to cover the distance.
Have you noticed that? We shout when we’re angry even if we’re standing two feet apart, because we sense the other is not hearing us, not grasping what we’re saying, because we keep repeating the same things without any change, without progress. We speak simply for reiterating each one’s position. Not to discuss and resolve whatever issues arise for whatever reason.
We may presume someone else’s worries are petty. But that does not mean we should treat them as such. Respect is seeing the world through another’s eyes. Wondering how you would act in their shoes. And helping them settle the crisis.
Caring is demonstrating that you value the other regardless of what your prior actions may have proven to them. It is a simple as that: show it.
If love is the only way to soothe the yelling and reconnect our hearts, all we have to do is display it. Otherwise, there is no point in even trying.
Perhaps that was the problem in the first place; that we tried too hard; expected too much; and got disenchanted too soon.
“What’s wrong?” Miguel asked as he wrapped his arm around her.
He knew sunsets were her favourite hour. That golden moment when nature seemed at peace, and you could feel serene.
“Nothing”, Adeline feigned.
He read through her reflex reaction that everything was not as fine as she claimed. Her eyes weren’t as shiny as when she really meant that. Other times, he could see the last of the sun’s rays reflect off her glistening emerald pupils. And her smile was genuine. Now she just seemed tired. Or, rather, exhausted. Emotionally.
He perplexed his mind for a minute, wondering whether it was worth asking again, pushing for a different answer.
What he couldn’t tell was that she was restraining herself from saying everything that caused chaos in her head.
She couldn’t figure out how it was all roses one minute, and in a single second, due to a single phrase, everything was upturned. She was upset not only with the way he behaved towards other females – in her presence even – but most of all by the fact that he could hardly identify the problem.
People want to feel they are exclusively loved and valued. Much more so when they’re in a relationship. They want the security that their partner places them above all others, regardless of history or social connections. And it goes both ways. Every kind of relationship needs compromise and concessions. From both. Otherwise the balance doesn’t work.
By the time she decided to say something, the ferry boat had reached the port. And now the time was unsuitable.
He continued as if nothing happened.
But for her it was not as easy.
Silence is hard to keep. But when you break it, you need to be certain that what you’ll say is more important.
“People lack sensitivity these days; they can’t get into another’s shoes”.
The voices from the adjacent table were distracting Meg’s thoughts.
Perhaps those insensitive were happier, though, she rebutted silently. They hardly care enough to be worried or stressed about anything.
The problem with being too sensitive is that often you sacrifice your own well-being out of fear of hurting the other’s feelings. You stay silent too long, and someday it all erupts uncontrollably. As a result, it pains both you and the person you’re trying to shield.
Our hectic daily lives cause a lot of stress. Or perhaps we allow our circumstances to stress us out. Almost constantly. And over anything/everything.
Stress is not an easy emotion to control.
Neither is anger, which most often comes as a consequence of the aforementioned anguish.
When we feel angry, frustrated, irritated, unjustly treated, hurt, or simply exhausted with everything and everyone, our body produces a flood of hormones that stimulate strong reactions – from a racing heart to sweaty palms, dry mouth, and short-term memory loss. Tempers flare, voice decibels increase, and soon it all elevates out of control.
And then, when it becomes too much, we often feel the need to cry.
Tears from anger are a powerful emotional response to high stress levels – a mixture of feeling mad and sad simultaneously.
“Tearful crying is a uniquely human activity, and scientists believe it may serve an evolutionary function: a distress signal used to summon help and provoke helping behaviours in others. Crying releases oxytocin and prolactin, two chemicals that can bring your heart rate down and otherwise calm you after a stressful event”.
That explains why after a heated discourse, and a meltdown of tears, you feel the urge for silence, isolation, and mostly, comfort.
It’s a rollercoaster of emotions that ends in tears. Ones that are therapeutic enough to restore the balance we need to feel sane, mentally healthy, and strong enough to go on with life itself.
He had a way of getting her to smile even when the tears where trickling down her blushed cheeks. Even when she frowned, he would manage her to laugh; that heartfelt laughter that was so contagious he could not help but chuckle along with her.
It was rare to find someone so supportive. Who could not only withstand but also handle her mood swings. She knew it was difficult. This modern era caused a lot of psychological and mental stress; she couldn’t even deal with it herself, let alone expect someone else to.
She was easily disappointed with the world. With friends that turned out to be foes. With backstabbing behaviour, with job offerings going to less-deserved people with under-achievements, with luck not being on her side apparently. She often surrendered arms because it was easier than continuing to fight a battle you were constantly losing.
But he knew more about it than meets the eye. He had faced unimaginable challenges throughout his years and was determined to not give up. Failure was not an option, and he kept repeating that to her so as to make it sink in.
During one of those heartbroken breakdowns where everything seemed bleak right from the sombre start of the morning, he looked her straight in the eyes, gently touched her face, and said, “Chin up, princess, or the crown slips”.
She smiled timidly. But it was enough to dust herself off and start over.
“We’ve been through so much already,” the little girl said, tugging on her father’s coat. “If someone offers us help, I say we take it”.
He looked at her. It was true, leaving your homeland with only whatever you could carry was a torment in itself, and a heavy burden for any nine-year old to bear. The series of misfortunes that ensued was something refugees were prepared for. Particularly those violently expelled from their own country.
They had just met someone who promised to get them to safety. But after a couple of failed attempts to believe people who vowed the same, the father was now distrustful.
“Not everyone is good”, he told her.
Her mother soon arrived, her eyes drooping from exhaustion. She took the little girl’s hand and gently placed her arm around her husband.
“There is still so much good out there”, she hummed. “But life is how you want to see it”. “If you want to find the good, you’ll find it. And if you’re constantly looking for the bad, it’ll catch up with you”.
They all breathed a little slower now. The realisation of this truth sinking in.
“We need to acknowledge that practical optimism is a much better framework on life than default pessimism”.
“Let’s choose to believe that everything will work out”.