Weeding is a tedious and laborious task. But it’s a necessary one. Weeding opens the space for plentiful growth and abundance. Sure some weeds can have some positive attributes, but they all, on a basic level, are competitive by nature. They compete for soil, nutrients, sunlight and water. Growth is difficult enough, never mind fighting for survival! Regardless of our intentions, planting seeds is not enough, we need to weed our gardens too.
There are so many ways that we can weed our lives: rid ourselves of unhealthy habits, dogmas, stereotypes, negative thoughts, excuses, clutter, bad relationships, baggage, people, things…For me, it was friendships. It was silly of me to think that I could focus on bettering my life without weeding my life of the people that were too competitive. Too often competing for, and getting the better of my patience, self respect and trust, leaving me feeling short changed and incomplete. It was immature of me to think that I could keep things in my life the same, yet hope for better outcomes.
Initially weeding my life in this way felt foreign to me. I’ve always thought that I was that person who needed to hold onto people regardless of what that actually looked like in my life; like a friend collector of sorts, a friend connoisseur. I thought it was comforting to surround myself with people; all sorts of people: people I party with, people I have dinner with, people I like to drink wine with, people I like to have deep conversations with, people I Iike to pray with, people that make me laugh, people that inspire me, people that engage me, people I worked with, people I work out with…which is fine enough, but my personal garden of friendship, closest to my heart cried for attention, I was letting weeds grow amoungst the flowers. I was letting bad friendships that were once fruitful, start stifiling the things I was planting as an adult. When something is around long enough, we can develop a tolerance to it, making us complascent and inactive. Like learning to live with an ache, I stopped really seeing things I’d been staring at for years. But history repeats itself and not everyone stands the test of time and evolution. I was watering without weeding, blindly giving these things more space to populate; leaving me less space to grow.
But life is a learning process, and I will continue to strive in the ways that I am able. I’m not always ready to face lessons, so I take my time with them. I’m not always strong enough to make changes, so I sometimes protect my fragility by turning a blind eye. But the things I avoid weeding, God certainly has a way of pruning. At the beginning of the year, I put “quality friendships” on my vision board. This came from a deep desire for authentic connections that come from love and not only allow me to be who I truly am, but inspire me to be more. Friendships that I too could reciprocate the same for. I recently realized that I had friends in my life I had once considered flowers until the contents of my garden changed. I don’t haphazardly plant anymore. I don’t just plant the things I knew as a child, I plant differently as as adult. So I’ve let go of friends and accepted being let go of, by people that I couldn’t get to a true level of honesty, authenticity and love with. Friends, that over the years, always maintained some level of maliciousness, competition, isolation, gossip, judgment, dysfunction or disloyalty…And that isn’t necessarily inherent to them specifically, but our combination of water, soil, and sunlight.
Despite the weirdness, saddness and holes these presently leave having been dug out, I look forward to the space this creates for me to plant expressions of love and friendship in ways that make my heart smile and feel good to my soul.
Ask yourself what parts of your life need attention and weeding?
“It’s better to feel pain, then nothing at all, the opposite of love is indifference” (The Lumineers – Stubborn Love)