“This holy relationship is what you are called to cultivate as a gardener cultivates her garden. The gardener knows that although the plant exists fully realized within its seed, it also needs the relationship of earth and water, light and air. The gardener knows that tending the garden will help it to flourish and show its abundance. The gardener knows she is part of the relationship that is the garden. A true gardener believes not in bad seeds. A true gardener believes not that she is in control. A true gardener accepts the grandeur that is the garden and finds it beautiful to behold.” (ACOL, T2:12.10)
If we are not cultivating a holy relationship with all of our brothers and sisters, we are cultivating special relationships sponsored by the ego. And the ego would believe that the seed is everything, that there is no need for relationships, for sharing, with others. No need for earth and water, light and air. And that is why separation fails. The seed doesn’t prosper by itself—ever. And we have not done very well in our attempts to remain separate, supported only by unholy alliances that fail us repeatedly. We need the earth and water, light and air—the relationships that support a garden filled with seeds that are all good and need only sharing to blossom. A true gardener does not believe in bad seeds. The heart of all of us is innocent and filled with love. It is only the unsharing ego that is filled with fear. And, Jesus tells us, we have now left the ego behind—gone, to be unclaimed again forever if we remain in love. If we fall into fear again, we will institute a new ego where the other one withered away. And which of us wishes to do that?
The holy relationship is needs cultivation. Specialness thrives on separation and on highs and lows that know no end. There is no high that is not followed by a low, sometimes a desperate low that sends us to our knees. When we truly love another, we will recognize that our choosing of particular others to love has heretofore been flawed. We wanted what special others could do for us, special others who would supply our needs and our wants. When we truly realize that our needs are always supplied, that giving and receiving are one, we will stop trying to protect ourselves by choosing specialness instead of holiness. Our special relationships will not be snatched from us, but transformed to the holy. We will realize that in trying to meet our needs, we have chosen the form of our relationships badly. We were being selfish out of fear. With needs met, and the continual assurance of needs being met, we are freed to love in holy embrace. The embrace encompasses the whole world, the All, for the Self is shared with all others. We are, after all, truly One. And in the warmth of that embrace, we will come into our own as beloved children of God, One with Him and no longer separated by a nefarious ego that brought on much suffering and much turmoil.
So: We must be good gardeners. We must recognize that there are many elements to a growing plant, and we are that growing plant. The kernel of our Self is the seed that contains all that we have accomplished and will accomplish in life. But it does take earth and water, light and air. And these are our holy relationships, the breeze that keeps us afloat.
Thank You for the aptness of Jesus’s metaphor of the garden. All of us, even those without gardening talents, can identify with what he says. And we do know that environmental conditions determine whether or not a garden thrives.
My environmental conditions are my holy relationships, and for these I thank You. I don’t spend a lot of time imagining exactly what “holy” does mean, for if I did I would feel unworthy. But I do think from time to time of the highs and lows that I knew when I was embroiled in a special relationship that brought me more pain than joy, more lows than highs, a fantasy of the mind and heart. Those days are over, and I thank You that You wrapped me up all to yourself during that time. I learned to depend on You. Thank You for always being there for me.
Thank You for the holiness that I am coming to comprehend. I, like everybody else, needs holiness in going about our daily lives. May Your holiness encompass my Self, and in this embrace, I will walk a green earth, filled with gardens.