It’s been hot this week in Adelaide, with temperatures over 40 degrees and today is expected to be the same. Dry, hot days and nights that make us all seek shade, cool air and water. I’m very grateful for air conditioning!

I was just outside giving my plants a drink before the raging heat hits them again and noticed that some of my succulents have a few burnt leaves, especially those that I have recently propagated. I have been having a love affair with succulents of late and usually find them to be pretty hardy.

My initial reaction as I was watering them, was that I should rip them out and replace them. With a few burnt leaves here and there, they don’t look quite as pretty and succulent as they should and my garden is not going to look as perfect as I’d like.

I caught myself in that moment and realised that if I left them, and continued to tend to them with love, attention and water, that they will continue to live and grow and the burnt bits will become less obvious over time.

I realised in that moment, that the garden can be seen as a metaphor for life.

Take me for example; I am 51, and I have more than my fair share of ‘burnt’ bits, but I’m so pleased that I can’t just be thrown out. In fact my ‘burnt’ bits have held some of my most painful yet beautiful life lessons. They aren’t always visible, in fact they usually aren’t, but working with and through them, has allowed me not only to grow, but thrive.

If we compare garden to life, there are some similarities in how we can be supported to thrive.

We both need:

  1. An environment that is supportive for our growth.
  2. Nourishment in terms of of sunlight, food and water, with time for rest and sleep.
  3. Love to be kept clear of weeds and distractions that may strangle us and inhibit our growth.
  4. Enjoy being talked to, and given love, attention and tending to.
  5. Can bounce back and be more beautiful than ever if all of the above are in place.

So as a recovering perfectionist I am going to leave my beautiful, tender yet slightly burnt plants just where they are, and I will continue to give them the love and support they deserve, as they do their best to continue to grow thrive in all that nature and life throws at them

Just like you and me!
Rae-Anne x :)
This piece originally appeared on The Huffington Post.