This week I was walking past my rose garden and noticed something: there was a weed that was intertwined in one of my largest rose bushes. I had walked past it for weeks and never noticed this weed. How? It was monstrous.
The weed was growing immediately adjacent to the root of the rose bush, and it was almost as large. How did this happen and I didn’t see it? I am constantly pulling small weeds as I walk past my flowers when I am coming and going.
Now it would take me putting on gloves, finding my hand shovel, and getting a little dirty to remove it.
I didn’t notice the weed - until it made the roses asymmetrical. The weed had started to grow taller and wider than the roses themselves, sticking out a few inches taller. This is what made me notice it.
As I got my tools to dig it up, I started thinking of how this is applicable to my life.
Sometimes we let ‘weeds’ - very small but negative distractions, creep up and take a strong hold and become intertwined in our lives. The weeds that are obvious – different color, textures, ugly, we pull immediately when they are small. The weeds that say: I don’t belong here – those are easy to pull.
The weeds that often take the strongest hold are the ones that appear to be part of the beauty in our lives, the ones that are camouflaged.
Those are the weeds that are so very hard to pull, because they plant deep roots, often right next to our own. They have grown for a long time, unnoticed to be taking the very things we need – light, nutrients, and most important – our growth.
I have had these weeds before in my life. I have had things I thought were fine to keep close to me, not wanting to remove out of comfort or fatigue, until it was almost too late.
I have had to then stop, put on gloves, and get to work to pull these weeds because they were competing with my growth. As I start the process of removal, I have been mad at myself.
Why didn’t I remove this weed when it was smaller, before I had to get scratched, and muddy?
Here’s the thing: I have gorgeous flower beds, and every year I have to weed them – continually. It’s not like I weed them once a summer…I weed them weekly.
We must show ourselves grace as we weed out things in our lives – distractions, negative thoughts, harmful habits that can become addictions, and sometimes even people who aren’t good for our growth. It is a constant process, much like maintaining your garden.
Maybe there is something bothering you, a weed you know you need to pull.
It’s ok. You can do it. You may get a little dirty and scratched up, but you will shine brighter and in the end, your roots will be stronger.