Watering Plants And Self-Actualization
The leaves on the plant are all that are visible to you. If you weren’t familiar with how to take care of plants and were asked to water one you’d be forgiven for only paying attention to the leaves while completely neglecting the roots. In fact this is exactly what many people do the first time they water a plant.
But the leaves are superficial, they’re the manifestation of what’s going on underneath. They serve an important purpose in the plant’s life, but if you don’t pay attention to the roots the leaves will wither before long and the plant will die. So we could say that the ‘real’ plant is hidden from view and always has been. That doesn’t mean it’s not there. It needs the right amount of water as well as other nutrients in the soil to produce those verdant green leaves and keep them healthy, who can then return the favor by taking in light and converting it into energy.
We can think of human life in a similar way. The fundamental task is self-actualization. When it is achieved we manifest vibrancy, health, and happiness. And those manifestations make life wonderful, allowing us to take in the good stuff from the environment, the sunlight of healthy relationships and nourishing activities. If we don’t self-actualize we manifest anxiety, depression, and other symptoms of mental illness. Trying to fix the problem by getting this or that superficial ego need met is like trying to nurse a plant back to health by watering the leaves.
Watering our deeper potentialities is what makes us grow and thrive. We’ve got to remember to take care of the source, that happiness can’t be pursued it must ensue, that our outer lives are the manifestation of our inner lives. The inner life is dependent upon becoming who we know we are through the process of self-actualization.