The weed attack makes it clear, along with the heat and afternoon thunderstorms. Summer has arrived, even before the calendar called it. The plants are happy, and I head for the A/C. But I’ve learned the hard way with weeds. The longer I let them grow, the more they multiply, sending out runners or spraying seeds everywhere (except for the hitchhikers I have to pull out of Lily’s paws and off our socks). So I go out early, as often as possible, and clear a small area, til I’m irrigating it with perspiration, then retreat inside.
I used to defend weeds, preferring any growth to bareness. I’ve learned the hard way what a pain weeds are when they grow where I don’t want them, and smother and eventually kill desirable plants. Then even the good stuff has to come out.
And there is always a new weed, another area to dig out.
But if I get it while it’s small, it’s easy.
However, if I just swipe at a weed, simply topping it, even to soil level, it will grow back. And the next time I try to pull it out, the stem is stronger and the roots have dug in for battle. It is almost impossible to get it out without attacking the weed with a sharp tool.
I don’t like the activity, but I’ve learned valuable life lessons from weeding.
There are some things that have to be pursued to the roots. Everything has to go.
How many times do we try to change a habit or attitude by simply deciding to, then, in time, find ourselves in worse shape, controlled by what we thought we could handle?
If we really want to rid ourselves of ugly attitudes or behaviors, actions or emotions that harm us or impede relationships, sometimes we have to go after the weeds.
Dig. Down. Deep.
It is hard work, no getting around that.
Ask one who has labored for years through therapy for childhood abuse, or the alcoholic who attends AA meetings week after week, working down the 12 Steps.
Even when we succeed, it may be uncomfortable for a while, adjusting to the empty place, until the ordered inner life begins to feel real.
We fill those spaces, now waiting and fertile, with our dreams.
Having people who love us and support our healthy selves is food and water for good growth.
When we wake each day, we can choose to pull weeds or ignore them, or in the areas we’ve dealt with them, lay a weed barrier and begin to plant fresh and new, real and whole, on the way to being the person we were created to be, living, creating and loving.
I have to admit, I couldn’t pull out the biggest weeds in my life. The old pain had scarred over and embedded itself so deeply I thought it was who I was.
Like a child running to a good father, I ran to the Master Gardener, to the tender smile and open arms.
Through good counsel, loving friends and family, serious study of the Bible and the power of the Holy Spirit, the weeds are coming out.
Even in the midst of health issues the past couple of years I’ve felt whole.
How have you been most successful with your weeds?
Are there some you have to keep pulling out?