“Don’t water your weeds.”
Now, let me just start this blog out by letting you know that I know nothing – and I mean NOTHING – about gardening. Or even about keeping a plant alive. Case in point, the poor little plant you see here to the right.
This picture is the reason I’ve never had plants. THIS is what happens to them.
Now, in my defense, this poor little fella got left behind in a major move. My boyfriend Richard’s family did a little house swapping and then I followed close behind by moving into the home with Richard. In the midst of all the moves, this plant was left sitting on a shelf by a window. Neglected. Once we got moved in and settled, I finally noticed the poor little fella and went to work on trying to save it. I diligently remembered to keep it watered and turn it towards the sunlight, etc. etc. And what happened?
Um, well, nothing.
The plant looked exactly the way it looks in the picture for months. And yet – somehow the parts that were alive (or at least I assume they were – they were still green), just kept going amidst all the dead stuff. So, finally, it dawned on me that maybe I should treat the plant like you do gardens. Get rid of the weeds to make room for the stuff that is still alive to be able to grow.
Eh, I didn’t know if it would work, but I figured it would at least make things look a little better, right? So, I went to work. After a full morning of picking and prodding and trying my best to efficiently differentiate between green and brown, I was left with…well…a much smaller plant.
(And hey, I didn’t even though that little fern-looking thingy was even in there! How about that!?)
So, yeah, the little fella was looking a little pruned, so to speak, but I still had to admit he looked a heck of a lot better. Right?
And that’s when that writer’s brain of mine kicked in. Suddenly, all of those “weeding” quotes I’ve always heard began to make sense to me. Looking at this little plant in front of me made me realize something important.
This is what it takes to change your life.
If you’re like me, you’ve probably faced some moments in your life when you realized that something just wasn’t ‘right.’ You know what I mean? No matter how much you tried – no matter how many things you crammed into your life to try to fulfill some void that you were certain would top off that internal happiness meter – nothing seemed to work. You tried this, you tried that, you packed your life with so many places and people and things just trying and trying to find that “thing” that would make your life perfect…and still. Nothing.
And then, suddenly, when you realize that you can’t fit a single thing else in your life, it dawns on you. There’s just no more room. None. You’re spreading yourself thin by trying to take care of all the things on your plate (or “in your pot” so to speak) that there’s just no more energy (or “water”) left. And then, when you look even closer, you start to realize how useless some of these things are to begin with. You’re putting precious energy into things that aren’t even serving you anymore, and maybe never even were to begin with. And sometimes those ‘things’ are actually ‘people.’
In other words, you’ve been watering the weeds.
Kinda stupid, huh? Sound familiar? No? Hmmm.
Think maybe it needs to?
I don’t know – maybe the way I am is unique. Maybe I’m the only one who has crammed their life full of crap to no avail. But if the responses I’ve gotten from many of my blogs in the past tell me anything, I’m thinking I’m probably not unique at all. I think we are a whole lot more alike than we may realize. All of us. And I’m betting someone out there probably needed to hear this today. Was it you?
Get rid of the weeds, people. You might feel a little empty to start with. A little bare, maybe. But what’s left will be worth taking care of. And you’ll actually have the energy (“water”) to do it. And before you know it, you’re going to have nothing but a pot full of life.
Doesn’t that sound kinda awesome?
“We’re like a gardener with a hose and our attention is water – we can water flowers or we can water weeds.”
- Josh Radnor