Saturday, May 14, 2011

Pulling out the weeds (Lessons from the Garden)

This is yesterday mornings post. Because Blogger was down I wrote it in word and saved it. I have decided that is the way to go for you other bloggers out there. It will allow me to save posts incase blogger eats them.

I was out in the garden this morning weeding my beets. I had managed to keep down the weeds in between the rows but I had to let the beets get a bit larger before I could pull the weeds that were around them.
Pulling those weeds was a very tedious process. I had to be very careful of the small tender beet plants. It would be easier of course just to let the weeds grow with the beets but that doesn’t work. I tried that last year. I was so afraid I would damage the beets that I left the weeds that were growing right next to the beets.  What ended up happening is the weeds overtook the beets. They stole the nutrients the beets needed to grow and then as the weeds got bigger they overshadowed the beets and didn’t allow them to get sun.  At that point it was too late to pull out the weeds because the beets and the weeds were all tangled together.  
My beet plants are still tiny now as are the weeds so I am trying hard to stay on top of it this year. I am looking at the end result. The harvest.  I realize that I might have to sacrifice a few beets to get the weeds out. It is better to lose a few small beet plants than to lose the whole crop later.
That got me to thinking. That is how unhealthy habits and toxic people embed themselves in our lives. They start out small.  At first maybe we don’t do anything about them because we aren’t even sure if they are good or bad.  Just like when the beets and the weeds first come up I can’t tell them apart. Then they are so small they seem harmless and there doesn’t seem to be any urgency to get rid of them.  Then as they grow they become so much a part of us that they are all intertwined with the rest of our lives. Just like these weeds had some of their roots intertwined with some of the beets.
 I even noticed that in some cases when I pulled out the weed the tender little beet shoots couldn’t support themselves. They were leaning on the weeds for support.  We do that too don’t we? We try to build healthy habits on top of bad habits using them for support. Then if you remove the bad habit the good stuff comes tumbling down.
But just like in my garden last year, if we let fear keep us from getting get rid of the bad stuff eventually the bad overtakes the good. You can’t grow a healthy life if you allow the weeds to keep growing. Eventually the bad stuff will pull your energy and focus away from the healthy stuff and choke it out.  So even though it is tedious and painful, even though we risk damaging what we are trying to grow, we have to diligently remove the junk.
If you remember I posted about weeding the beets a couple of weeks ago.  That brings up my final point. Just like weeds, bad habits are tenacious.  Just when you think you got it all done… Surprise they are back!  You know you can’t just remove the weed at the surface. You have to get the roots or sometimes it will grow back. The same goes with the unhealthy stuff in our lives. Sometimes we think we got it beat. But we left just enough root to allow it to grow back. Sometimes we got it all pulled out and a friendly well meaning bird will poop in our garden leaving behind new seeds of the old weed and there it is back again.
Seems like a lot of work doesn’t it? Constant weeding. Pulling out the junk. It is a lot of work.  But we just have to keep our eye on the end game. We aren’t doing it just to be doing it. There is a purpose.  I am doing the work in the garden now with the harvest in mind. So it is with life. We focus on what we want our lives to be. What direction are we headed in? We have to do the work now to have the future we want.  If we continue to let the bad habits grow the same as the healthy ones we risk our future harvest.


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