Deepening values, The Gardener and the Flower, and 6 Months of Getting Better

Questions from Melony Hill’s Writing for My Sanity Therapeutic Writing Workshop (@STMSBmore), held online.

• What has surviving a pandemic taught me to appreciate or value deeper?

Hugs. I love them, and I really feel like I took them for granted so much. Not being able to access human touch has been hard.

I’ve definitely value my health more, and have been taking the time to work on it and make sure I am more fit.

The time I do get to hang out with people, I’ve been appreciating a lot more. I am much less inclined to be on my phone at all.

I’ve been appreciating the outdoors so much. I feel like I’m so much more in-tune with the weather, and get out in it when it’s pleasant. I took that for granted so much more.

• Are you a good receiver? How does it make you feel when people do things for you or buy you gifts? If it’s hard for you to receive, why is that?

I’m a terrible receiver, but I crave it.

Whenever someone does anything for me, or gives me a really thoughtful gift, or even is considerate of me, I melt completely. I tear up, and just don’t know what to do.

I think this is because normally I partner or am around people who tend to take more than they give. It feels more familiar to me, because I am someone who will give until there’s nothing left. I find joy in being useful and appreciated, and giving like that often brings that feeling. It makes me happy. But many times, if paired with someone who is constantly taking, I end up being used.

Because I am so frequently paired in friendships and partnerships like that, I crave being taken care of and catered to, because it nearly never happens. But I’m also scared of it, because being taken care of requires a certain level of letting go and trusting someone. And being with people who constantly take has made me wary.

During the class, someone asked “In your relationships, are you more often the gardener, or the flower?”.

I am almost always the gardener. But I’m learning to be the flower.

Melony gave the following advice during class on how to learn to be a flower:

  1. Set your standards and boundaries
  2. Treat yourself the way you expect others to treat you
  3. Teach them how to treat you
  4. Spend time only with people who make you feel good and/or special

• What has gotten better in your life in the last six months? How
have the improvements added to your life?

I got vaccinated! I have new contracts for work. I am close to signing the contract on my house. I’ve grown friendships with people who care about me and make sure I’m ok.

All this has put me more at ease, and taken some of the stress off of the anxiety of the pandemic.

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