when i was little, we had saturday chores, and one of them was to weed our garden. we’d make a dime for a giant bag of weeds, and it basically took us all day. and we were never allowed to spend the dimes either. we had to save them up for ‘college’…
i remember my mom showing me the difference between a weed and a plant. they all looked nice to me and i couldn’t understand why the weeds had to be pulled. they’re just as pretty and green and they give us oxygen too, i remember telling my mom in the weeds’ defense. my mom would tell me that weeds were ugly.
ugly things have a right to live, i remember thinking, and i’d purposely leave some little weeds to give them a little more life. weeds and flowers are part of nature.
what my mom forgot to tell me is that weeds take over the garden. yes, i love to garden. and those weeds are fast and strong, and if i don’t take them out, they’ll end up killing the parts of the garden that i’m trying to nourish.
weeds are a lot like the undesirable parts of me. we all have them and they do want to take over the good parts of me. the lazy part of me tells me i need to stay in bed, the disciplined part of me tells me i don’t want to miss the sun rise. the lazy part of me tells me to identify with the negative – ‘you were born this way, that’s just who you are, a bum’, the disciplined part demands nothing, is understanding and kind. the weeds try and take over my thinking. the disciplined and loving part of me has faith that i have gifts to share.
just the way weeds want to dominate my garden, so too do my wicked thoughts want to take over my being, my identity. and because those wicked thoughts are ego driven, they speak louder than the quiet part of me, my heart.
a conscious nourishing of my heart is what keeps my ego from taking over…keeps the weeds at bay. the daily practice of weeding my inner garden is my meditation; when i choose to release those negative thoughts from my flower bed, the seeds in my garden grow into buds, and my buds unfold into beautiful flowers.
i’m just part of nature where god created both weeds and flowers. and in me i have good and bad, flowers and weeds. the question is do i let the weeds take over me? weeds are aggressive and kill the flowers. or do i take the time to remove the weeds and let the flowers live?
when i practice mindful living, i’m aware of my negative thoughts. i can make the conscious choice to detach from them, and mindfully choose, to feed my heart, my soul, that positive part of me that wants to connect to my source, and continue to grow the flowers within me.
cultivating happiness is a discipline of conscious weeding of negative thoughts, and the feeding of my heart where love and compassion grows.