Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Weeds- Gardening Applied to Life.

I was working out in the garden today while Chase snoozed. His sleep has been so thrown off lately due to some obnoxious neighborhood issues, so I let him cat nap any time he can.
I've enjoyed gardening more than I thought I would to be honest. I have liked watching my little plants grow and blossom. I weed my boxes as often as I can- some weeks that's daily and it only takes a few moments a day and sometimes I just don't get the time and I can spend a solid hour catching up. Luckily the latter hasn't happened many times. But even when it has I enjoy the time out to just think as I thread through the boxes digging in the Earth, pulling what's not wanted to leave more room and nutrients in the soil for what is.
I am amazed at how many parallels and life lessons there are in something as simple as a novice vegetable garden as I find time to just reflect on whatever is on my mind at the time.
I recall a long time ago sitting on the edge of the hill with my grandmother as I picked peas and devoured their contents. Grandma was pulling weeds. I remember asking why they had to be pulled because I thought they were pretty. I had a particular fondness for the morning glories as I liked to stick my nose in them and inhale making the little white flowers cling to my face. I remember her telling me that she had to pick the weeds so there was room for the peas. I didn't get it. Here before me was a garden of clearly thriving plants- AND a few weeds. Pretty weeds. Obviously they could coexist. Silly Grandma.
As I moved about my boxes, reaching in the soil and pulling out weeds- some of which were quite pretty- I came across a small pea plant. This plant bore no blossoms or pods like the others, and it was being swallowed by some ugly grass looking weed. The base of it was dry, and the leaves a bit wilted. The weeds had robbed the soil- the foundation- and prevented this little pea plant from thriving. As my fingers followed the roots beneath the ground, I tugged and pulled trying not to damage the pea plant any further in my attempts to clear the ground. The roots intertwined and criss crossed and I was unable to pull the weeds out without completely removing the tiny plant with them. So there I was, pea plant in hand as I cursed the weeds for taking over. But it wasn't really the weed's fault, it was mine. I didn't foster a healthy environment for my little plant. I allowed the weeds one by one to take root and grow bigger and stronger until they overpowered it, greedily sucking the minerals from the soil leaving my plant to wilt and suffer.
As I reflected on that lesson my grandmother taught me long ago I realized how very true it is. A healthy garden with a few weeds can flourish- if you pick the weeds. However, if you neglect those weeds, they will take over at the expense of all things desirable in the garden.
I applied this principle to so many facets- both religious and secular- of my life as I knelt in the garden. How simple a concept.
I have many weeds in my life. Some I have more control than others over. Some are challenges that prevent me from doing things I know I should.

My social anxiety makes it difficult to attend church meetings the way I should.
My pride makes it difficult to admit when I am wrong.
My selfishness gets in the way of being the kind of wife I want to be.
My impatience is a challenge as I strive to be a good mother.
My insecurity and thirst for acceptance makes it difficult to walk away from people who only bring negativity to my life.

Indeed I am a person of many flaws- as we all are. However, I'm also a person of many strengths.
I have a good sense of humor and can make those around me laugh without much effort.
I'm compassionate and giving.
I have good common sense and reasoning.
I'm forgiving.
I'm honest, and a person of my word.

As I cleared the ground of weeds- strengthened the foundation of my garden- I thought of things I ought to do to weed out my own life. I placed that little plant back in the ground, gave it some water- unsure of if it even had a chance as I came back inside to clean myself up. Several hours later, when I went to get the mail, I checked in on my little plant and though it may be in my head, it's looking greener and healthier already.
It's my goal to clear my life, mind, and heart of the many weeds that take root... to pull them from my mind like a weed from the earth, and leave time, space, and energy to foster a firm foundation for the more desirable traits of my personality and self to flourish. 

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