A local farmer was asked if a BIG rain is really good for his crop; he said plainly, “No.” He went on to explain when heavy short-duration rains come - a down pour – and dry land is waiting the rain washes over the ground, not into it. It all heads quickly to drainage ditches, tributaries, or rivers. Seeds can wash away or young crops are damaged due to soil erosion. Little good happens because there’s just too much water all at once and the ground can’t receive it, the usefulness is lost.
Therapists can see the similarities between many relationship challenges and the laws of the farm, natural laws, which farmers deal with every year and throughout their lives. Love, just like rain, needs to show up regularly and in receivable amounts during the early stages of a relationship, the relationship planting season, to be most effective and enduring. Overdone (or lesser amounts), too late in the process, don’t make up for what was left out early on; it can’t even be taken in for growth and development.
Love may need a similar application process to be most effective too. Crops can grow with limited rain but the effect of a total lack of water is obvious to the quality of the crop. Water can be piped in to make up the difference that the lack of precipitation causes but it costs the farmer more than the natural resource. The best situation is when consistent and receivable rains soak into the roots and throughout the soil. Natural love is that way too. Work too hard at it, or fake it, and the cost becomes too high.
Hard, heavy, and high volume rains don’t offer much benefit to plants because so much of the water becomes run-off. Love run-off happens too. People in close relationships or in families are frequently applying their measure of love to others, and sometimes it IS more than others can handle. This is true when love is only measured out in large portions too little of the time. Is there a common measure when it comes to these things? No. Some crops need and welcome more and faster amounts of rain than others. It’s all natural and part of a larger system. The environment of a relationship can be just as hard to understand sometimes, but forcing nature doesn’t work in nature and won’t work with people either.
People who try to grow love have sometimes strayed so far away from nature that they have no idea what they’re really doing. They believe in power and negotiation in relationships as though it were a corporate takeover instead of a natural system that will not respond well to these tactics and beliefs. It’s sad to see and easy to fix if both partners are willing to really listen to the other, without judgment, and have patience. But alas, this is sometimes not so easy when one or the other is living from life-long beliefs and reinforced behaviors, or out of a place of fear and scarcity, which can inevitably destroy even the best of intentions and plans.
For people in relationships the difference between rain and love, the difference which really makes a difference, is that anyone can be a provider of consistent, caring and well-portioned amounts to many people around us. We don’t have to wait for the right conditions to make it fall from the sky and we don’t have to pay to have it piped in to the lives of people we believe should have it; we can rain love whenever we choose and to whomever we know. And if in a relationship both come to learn of the wonderful release that letting go of control can bring, and the overall respect for the natural environment that can result, it may provide for many loving seasons ahead.
Living for the love of it,
Dawna Grigsby and Alan Daigneault