Imagine you are trying to grow a plant. It starts as a little seed. You give it dirt and water. You place it where it gets the right amount of sunshine. The roots grow. Your plant becomes a little seedling. It gets taller and stronger. It’s still pretty small and fairly defenseless. But, it’s working!
Your plant grows. Eventually your plant has to interact with other little plants. In order to live and thrive the little plant has to be part of an ecosystem of other plants. Some of those plants are gentle and kind. Some have poison and barbs. Some try to take over and squash your little plant. What do you do?
You could let your tiny little plant fend for itself. Knowing you won’t always be there to protect it. You could decide your little plant will simply have to figure it out on it’s own. Eat or be eaten. Only the strong survive.
You could bubble wrap your plant. Then place a mesh fence around it. Then set up alarms to scare away any predator plants. Your plant will survive, but it might be lonely. Your plant will survive but it’s still quite defenseless inside the bubble you have created.
You could try to help your defenseless little plant lean how to defend itself. Perhaps you could teach it to grow a few thorns of its own. Perhaps you could teach it to set up a healthy perimeter around itself to prevent aggressive plants from taking over. It would be a lot of work. But it might work that’s worth it.
If I were my own best friend I would tell myself to think about all of this. What kind of plant do I want to raise in this world? What kind of plant do I want to be? What might all of this have to do with learning, setting, and maintaining healthy boundaries throughout life?