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My husband, Steve, is a master gardener. He has created wonderful beauty in every garden of every house in which we have lived. Most of our marriage, I did not contribute anything to the gardens. My shame would not allow me to even participate because I had no knowledge of how to grow things. Part of my recovery has been discovering “what I like”. I had been so focused on meeting the needs of others that I had no idea what I wanted or needed. During my years of early recovery, Steve and I stayed at a beautiful Inn in Charleston, S.C. Our breakfast was served to us in the gardens of the house. I noticed that the walk was lined with geraniums in clay pots. I remember thinking how beautiful this looked.  I told Steve that I wanted him to teach me to pot geraniums for our side porch.

My shame would not allow me to even participate because I had no knowledge of how to grow things.

He was thrilled that I wanted to participate in our garden. Over the past decades, this has become a tradition every spring for us to go to our favorite nursery and pick out red geraniums. I am also in charge of maintaining them for the summer.

I am responsible to weed out old resentments and shame that linger inside of me.

One day as I was pulling off dead leaves and wilted blossoms, I realized this was a great metaphor for my recovery. I am responsible to weed out old resentments and shame that linger inside of me.   Like my geraniums, I will not grow if I am weighed down with people and circumstances that I cannot control, or beliefs about myself that are not true. Also, like my geraniums, this process is ongoing. I have to intentionally take inventory of what hurts are lingering. When I identify the hurts, I need to look at what is keeping me from letting them go. My spiritual growth depends on weeding out the old. Telling a close friend or mentor is a good way to start talking about our hurts.  Sometimes we know something is wrong, but we need a therapist help us unearth hurts that are hidden and still affecting our lives with unwanted consequences. Then the healing can begin.

Need help pulling out the weeds of resentments and shame? Sage Hill can help. Call us at 615-499-5453


Miriam Tate is a therapist at Sage Hill Counseling in Nashville, TN. Prior to Sage Hill, Miriam worked at the JourneyPure Center for Professional Excellence, a long-term alcohol and drug treatment center founded by Dr. Chip Dodd in Nashville, since 2001. She helps people tell their story and reawakens them to who they are made to be.