Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Day 157: Weeding It Out

"Some faults are so closely allied to qualities that it is difficult to weed out the vice without eradicating the virtue."~Oliver Goldsmith, Irish essayist, poet and novelist

Today turned out to be a day of weeding things out. It started this morning when I actually got into my own garden to plant some pole beans and burpless cucumbers (yes, they are indeed burpless and tasty too) and to do some weeding. It continued this afternoon when I went to weed the community garden plot for my senior garden program. And tonight, it ended as I was weeding through the paperwork that has piled up on my desk.

While I was weeding, I got to thinking (big shock I know) how weeding a garden bed is a never ending chore and yet, we keep doing it, almost without thinking about it. Or, about the fact that it never truly ends.

That's not to say it is an easy chore. If you let them grow too tall, getting rid of weeds requires great physical effort. Even if they aren't that big, it requires commitment and effort to keep them under control. And yet, we keep weeding. And, not just in the garden.

We weed out all kinds of things. Usually they are things that are easy to get rid of. Like weeding a garden bed, we don't even think about it when we do it: we weed through the fridge, getting rid of spoiled food; we weed through our closets and dressers getting rid of old clothes; and we weed through our mail, our files, and our paperwork. We get rid of things that we don't need, that are no good anymore, that we don't have space for, or, that basically serve no purpose. And, we do it to make room for newer or better things.

But, the things that really matter to us, the things that we should weed out, we don't. These are usually the people or things in our lives that make us unhappy, that create a constant source of drama or problems for us, or that hold us back.

Often, they are the parts of ourselves that we just can't seem to let go of, or, that we don't know how to get rid of, or that require too much emotional effort to get rid of.

It is much easier for us to exert ourselves physically than emotionally. Maybe that's because you can easily see the results when you complete the weeding of a garden bed. It is obvious and there's an immediate payoff to the hard work. And soon, the space you have cleared becomes home to the things that you want to grow, to the things that bring beauty and joy to your life.

But, if we weed out those things and people that serve no purpose in our lives other than to create this unhappiness, imagine how much we could grow once we are not crowded out or held back by them.

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