I was pulling weeds, outside my front porch, on a beautiful summer night before the dark swept away the light.
I had a purpose—remove the weeds in order to allow the plants I want there to have a chance to grow. Larry (my husband) sat with me, weeding too. He (a significantly more structured person than me) is pretty methodical. I (someone who thrives on juggling multiple projects at once and then going “ta-da!”) am more often moving from one bed to another, in and out of the sun, getting up and down as my boredom dictates. I don’t hate pulling weeds because it’s usually a “reflective time” for me (plus I want the end result of a weed-free property), but with an acre that has an awful lot of walls and beds, it’s an ongoing job.
As we sat there, I said to Larry, “pulling weeds in the beds, reminds me of the ‘weeds’ of life”. Weeds are plants that we consider valueless, growing amongst the things we “want” to see. Sometimes those weeds destroy everything around them, just like “life weeds” can destroy us (or at least take over part of us) if we’re not careful.
Sometimes, I don’t see the weeds; they sort of blend into the rest of the property. Often, it’s not until they get out of control that I pay attention.
Sometimes, I don’t “see” the hurt or pain or failure or feelings of less-than, until it’s too late.
When I pull out a weed, I always try to make sure that I get the root. Sometimes that doesn’t happen, especially if the ground is really dry.
When I get to the point that I’m aware that something has to be removed from my life, it’s often really, really tough, especially when it’s been there for a while.
If I’m not vigilant, the weeds can take over the plants; they’re ruthless intruders of the bounty of beauty.
If I’m not vigilant, those life weeds can take over the way I feel; minimizing joy and serenity and peace.
I could buy a heavy duty weed-killer and spray it everywhere, but I feel like I risk killing off something valuable.
I could take a “wipe the slate clean” position and start over, but there is too much that I know has value.
Often, weeding leaves a big empty space. I know it’s better than having it full of weeds, but the emptiness can feel “barren”.
Often, I (we humans) hang onto relationships/situations/things because even though we know they don’t feed our spirits, it feels safer than staring into the unknowing, less-than-automatically-full future.
Weeds often grow profusely amongst the plants we love, and sometimes, they look like flowers.
Weeds of life often weave their way into our realities. Sometimes, they “look like” beautiful flowers, but down deep, they are poised to destroy us. Like the literal ones, we have to understand when to remove what’s causing us pain or feelings of less-than.
In the past month, I’ve been in a place of reevaluating—trying to determine what’s of value and what’s simply a weed. It’s not as easy as it would seem. Like most people, I’ve often accepted the status quo believing that if I was just kind enough, “good” enough, loving enough and giving enough that I would “reap the rewards of the fruits of my labors”. I’ve come to understand that doesn’t always happen. So (as for most of us, I imagine) my journey continues. And, in my sharing of my falling and getting up, in my fear and in my elation, and in my telling the truth of my (crazy, blessed, definitely not perfect) life, I hope that you (my dear reader) realize that we’re all only human.