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Symbolic Gesture

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After my breakup:

I have been thinking of things to do to keep myself busy, better my surroundings to make my life comfortable, and better myself. This included working out, eating more healthily, and cleaning, redecorating, and taking down all the decorations we put up together (I have to live here this summer while she's away - no choice). I also thought it would be nice to plant a small garden out front on the patio.


I liked the idea, but, being the one with a wandering mind as I try to put away the past, I remembered how we had wanted a garden come summer. She even tried to plant some this winter indoors to be planted over the summer, but the cat ended up killing them. I realized that if I planted a garden, she's going to be living here next year (and I'm moving out - it's weird. We both live on campus). She's going to see the garden I've planted, and I thought "that's a perfect symbol for what I am doing." I am moving on and planting seeds in my life, doing the things I wanted with or without her, and bettering my life. She will no doubt see the garden that I planted, and maybe she'll have to stop and think. What has she planted? (there's also some great irony here - she's a landscape architect


I know there's probably no romantic gestures that can bring her back, but I'm basically going to be leaving her with this garden, even though I didn't plan on planting it with that intention. But, can it be both? Can it be for ME and left for her when I'm gone? Is it worse to do it knowing that now that thought has crossed my mind or NOT do it because of that? Doesn't not doing something I want seem like giving her power? I want to plant a garden and, yes, I'll admit I want her to see it every day she steps outside and see what I've sewn. And I would appreciate if she decided to tend it one day after I have left.

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Yeah, that's the problem is that they overlap. It makes it hard not to think "therefore, i have a chance at getting her back" when it's what I need to do anyway for my own life. Damn paradoxical workings. Every now and then I have to ask myself "am I moving forward for ME?" The answer varies very greatly based on my mood, but, yes, ultimately it is for me and me alone.

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I don't think motives matter one iota *if* you are truly taking the right action. Buddhists say "warm feet, cool head." Christians say "faith without works is dead." These are pointing to the idea that right thinking follows right action - not vice versa.


Who cares who you are moving forward for?!? As long as you are truly moving forward - ride that wave until it crests!

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Weird, because Buddhism's version of karma is placed firmly on one's intentions and not outcomes of said actions, and Christianity is popularly a religion based on faith and NOT works.


At any rate, I think the more I try to distinguish one from the other, the more it just makes me think about it and it's ultimately self-defeating, because at that point, it doesn't matter which conclusion I come to - I'm getting stuck on it either way. I do think I'll try my hand at planting the garden. I could use some productive time outside, anyway.

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You are correct about Buddhism focusing not on outcomes (those are entirely out of our control) and about the sad state of modern Christianity; but I have to disagree about Kharma - that is defined as the total effect of one's actions on this life. Another popular buddhist quip to somebody that is agonizing over something is "Chop wood, carry water." Again pointing to the doing of what needs to be done.


I agree with your own assessment of the state of things (not that I listen to myself - anybody on this forum could run my life better than I can): go plant the garden already! Just remember what you pointed out in your previous post: the results of planting that garden are none of your business.

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