There is an old proverb that mentions the idea of you reap what you sow. If you’ve ever heard this growing up, how did you decern it? When I heard, “You reap what you sow,” growing up, it had me terrified of something I didn’t yet understand. Those words affected my mindset in a way that nudged me towards fear and quietness.
Thinking back, it wasn’t just the words that made me fearful. The seriousness in a person’s face and daunting tone of voice served as the icing on the cake. I heard it often in movies and out in the world, especially when an unpleasant circumstance befell someone. Vaguely connecting the mysterious dots of reaping and sowing, I came to define this phrase as bad.
How This Phrase Shaped my Mindset as a Child
That oh so popular principle stuck with me through my entire childhood and part of my adult life. Timing and delivery of those five words greatly influenced my perspective of life, something I didn’t know too much about. My thinking was, “If I do anything wrong or bad, bad things are to come upon me.” Therefore, I didn’t want to reap and I surely did not want to sow anything as a child. It was not just the words that brought fear but the seriousness of people’s faces and daunting tones of voice.
Continually hearing and adding this universal saying into my vocabulary, I needed a better understanding of its purpose. Making a conscious choice to use my words for building others up, I had to get this straightened out. I learned the expression that had me scared to reap and sow as a child had truth to it in more ways than one. I started to understand that making a choice to do something bad, eventually brought bad consequences back to you. And those consequences, or results, most likely would not be fun or feel too good.
The Real Meaning and What I Learned as an Adult
I had to go deeper if I wanted to get a clearer understanding of what you reap what you sow implies. I found that it is a process done in farming when a farmer plants/sows seeds and then will gather/reap the result or fruitage of the seeds. Now. the question is, how does the sowing of seeds and reaping their fruitages involve us as humans? Also, does it always have a negative consequence?
The answer is no, but true of both unpleasant and pleasant results. This is another way of describing the universal law of cause and effect. And we are all subject to it. Going through life I couldn’t avoid reaping bad consequences of some of my decisions, as I desperately tried. The result of me experiencing the dreaded you reap what you sow, I thought bad of myself.
When I grew tired of feeling this way I began to evaluate my thinking. Years of talking down to myself had me feeling worthless because I continuously focused on past mistakes. And doing this negatively affected me. I lived in those thoughts every day and it was so damaging to my mind and body.
The Pleasant Side of Sowing and Reaping
Before I could help anyone feel better, which I love to do, I had to help myself. I could see how support, and healthy and loving words, affected other people that I spoke to. So I thought, why not speak good to myself? I began to pull myself up internally by saying five good things about me each day. In doing these things for myself, I found truth and delight in words that, to me, seemed as something condemning. Purposefully flipping the whole outlook of reaping and sowing, I began to feel better about myself. I even found myself smiling in the mirror more often, hugging, and apologizing to myself.
Planting those seeds of health and love brought me fruits of peace, love, and joy. Hence, reaping and sowing. My work in encouraging people with healthy words to develop a mentally wealthy mindset is now what I live in. You reap what you sow has become important to me as an adult. Today, I liken the words that I speak to myself as seeds planted for bringing forth higher loving thoughts of myself. Then planting in others and teaching them how to sow good seeds within themselves.
Reaping and Sowing Used for Good
Going back to the unpleasant consequences of you reap what you sow based on my experience. When we do things considering thoughts, words, and actions harmful to ourselves or others, cause and effect show up. But not always appearing physically in our life as misfortune. The result of sowing those kinds of seeds can also come in the form of mental anguish. Consequently, your appearance and health start to deteriorate because now you are plagued with thoughts of wrongdoing and feelings of guilt.
Some consequences that feel uncomfortable are just life lessons that teach us something. That is why it is of utmost importance not to linger in negative thoughts of ourselves if we have made a mistake. Making a mistake doesn’t mean that you are a bad person and your value as an individual is less than anyone else.
Now moving forward to pleasant consequences of how cause and effect are manifested in our lives. When we sow seeds (which again can be our thoughts, words, and actions) that benefit us or someone else, we reap or are rewarded with, what grows from those seeds. Some examples of reaping and sowing in a positive light are healthy mental thoughts of yourself and sometimes physical benefits like something good happening in your life. But the most important fruit that you want to reap is to feel good about your self on the inside.
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