A couple of days ago I was pulling weeds in one of my flower beds. That kind of activity leaves the mind to wander, to think about all sorts of possibilities, flit in countless directions. Working with nature, rescuing flowers from the weeds that would choke them, is a satisfying (though back-breaking) task, but I find it hard to keep my mind on that task only. As my mind wandered, it took many a turn.
While I was stooped, stalking and then pulling the different weeds, I began to think of the weeds in my heart that needed pulling as well. Although I can’t physically reach in and pull one out by its roots inside my heart like I can in the flower bed, I can consciously work to remove those “weeds” that keep the “flowers” in my heart from growing to their full potential. Removing the proverbial weeds from inside of me might at least allow the better parts of me to remain and not get choked out, the way the weeds in my flower bed want to crowd out my flowers.
As I kept at the repetition of finding, reaching, pulling, discarding, I continued to think of what kind of weeds I might be harboring inside myself. During Lent I participated in two studies geared toward preparing for Easter, and in a religious, spiritual sense, I had been working on growing more aware of my blessings while also growing more attentive to God. Certainly anytime we work outside, whether it’s pulling weeds or planting flowers, whether it’s feeding birds or watering thirsty hanging baskets, we feel closer to nature, and most of the time, closer to God (or whoever/whatever we call our higher being). In my awareness I couldn’t help think about the mission I was on that day, the one of pulling the weeds, pulling out the undesirables from my flower bed in order to let the desirables, the flowers, survive and flourish.
Isn’t that what we do when we rid ourselves of weeds that live inside our hearts? What kind of weeds do we harbor, that might need “weeding” from our very existence? Is it ill feelings toward a friend or relative? Is it a hurt or disappointment we need to let go? Is it a certain arrogance or pride we need to get over and live without? Getting rid of these personal weeds, or others like them, might allow the good in us, the parts of us that need to survive, grow and flourish to do just that.
During this Lenten season, perhaps it’s a good idea to do some weeding inside ourselves as we go about our lives weeding our flower beds or doing whatever else we do. While we’re at it, we might try also adding some mulch to both the flower beds and ourselves. What can we use as mulch for ourselves? What can we add into our lives to prevent those internal weeds from sprouting again? How about time with family or friends? How about quiet meditation to give us time away from the noise of the world? How about time spent in prayer (if that’s your thing)? Because people are so different, each of us must decide for ourselves what we can do to grow as a person the way our different plants and flowers grow in their beds, pots, or planters. How many times have we seen the suggestion to “bloom where you’re planted”? Getting rid of our own weeds will help that to happen, help us to bloom as the people we’re meant to be.
Happy Easter and Happy Weeding!