Three years ago I planted three knockout rose bushes under the front window.
They grew and bloomed right away. But they didn't get thick and bushy like I wanted and like I knew they could.
I don't want thin, scraggly knockouts. Maybe I planted them too close to the house. Maybe they don't get enough sun. They seem happy enough just to survive and show a few flowers.
But I'm not happy.
So I cut them back in March. Hard. Right when they were starting to bud. Cut them back to about a foot above the ground. I think it made them mad.
I heard them complaining: "What's up with that? You want flowers and now you're cutting them off?"
They recovered quick. Six weeks later, more buds. But still spindly.
I cut them off again. Not as hard this time. Just shaped them some.
Do you ever feel like someone's against you?
"This guy doesn't love us. This guy doesn't know what he's doing. This guy says he wants one thing and then he cuts off the thing he says he wants. You can't trust this guy. We're working our tails off here!"
But I do know what I want. I know what I see now and in the future. I know what I want these plants to become in this spot. It might not be what they expect. If I have to cut off what they've worked for and start over, I will. I chose these plants on purpose for this spot and I won't give up.
They don't know any of this. They think it's all about making flowers now and being like all the other knockouts even though their conditions are different. They just want to be left alone.
If they could pull themselves up and walk off, they would.
But you can.
You can leave the job, leave the relationship, find a new church, give up the goal and the dream. You can look for ways to end the frustration of always getting cut off, always starting over. Haven't you done enough?
It feels mean. It feels like punishment. It feels like you've been forgotten and someone doesn't care.