I have great appreciation for gardens, but do not possess of my own a green thumb. By no stretch of the imagination would one call me a gardener. But I am becoming skilled when it comes to weeding through those things that grow within my mind, heart and being.
With deliberateness, I plant seeds in the fertile ground of my soul. And with equal consciousness, I uproot all that grows within me that chokes the life from those things I want to see flourish. Seeds of fear, doubt and mistrust grow with the same remarkable speed as those in a physical garden; sometimes growing next to that of the newly planted seedling one has worked hard to cultivate, making it difficult to tell the two apart.
But a good gardener knows. The trick, is to pluck the new seedling, before it has a chance to pull our focus from the newly developing seeds of love, hope and trust. Sometimes, due to hastiness, misguided eagerness or for the sake of appearances, we glean all visual signs of the weeds from the soils surface. In the process, the roots are left to grow deeper. And before long, a more robust plant takes its place.
It amazes me the weeds that grow within me. Painstakingly, I carefully dig the spade within my self and gently uproot that which no longer serves me. Due to such, I can not look at anyone else’s garden and criticize. The wayward weeds that grow within them are merely the outpouring of an untended soul. We all have weeds.
I’d like to say that my weeds are all of the tender young variety; easily yanked from the ground and done away with. But that isn’t the case. Some have stalks rivaling that of a small tree. And when pulling them from the ground it requires a bit of methodical releasing of the soil that surrounds them; rocking of the plant to loosen them; then finally a mighty pull.
My garden, you see, is far from flawless. But my eye is forever scanning its surface. My intention is forever tilling the soil. And unlike some who turn their back on what rests within, I walk the rows within me as if a form of meditation. I like the way the soil of my soul feels on my bare feet; much like I do in the physical world. I see no flaw in admitting to one’s weeds. And I gladly help others uproot theirs. There are times, when I too need to call in a helping hand or two. Sometimes a pair of fresh, sincere eyes, can spot the weed taking root under one’s flourishing growth of new formed trust. And, like I said, there are times when what is within me requires the metaphysical equivalent of a tractor with chain. I’ve had all of this within me, at one time or another. Because of such, I understand the efforts required when one finally finds the courage to open the gate of their heart, and begins walking amongst the growth of their soul. At times, it’s absolutely startling what has sprouted and awaits our discovery.
It is up to us to decide what grows within us. Nothing is there without our choosing. And please know that doing nothing is still a choice. So, tend to your garden. Once the soil has been released from the burden of nourishing the weeds – you will be amazed at what comes to life.
First published, January 2013