With warm, sun-filled days, I am weeding. My yard is a standard suburb lot, unusual for its many trees, a mini forest surrounding my home.
And with this natural beauty, I plant annual flowers in pots around the yard and delight in the robust perennials.
And I weed.
I find the sun and fresh air lift my mood.
I also notice that my mind calms as I routinely pull weeds between brick walkways and along the driveway.
I am also aware that some plants are plants when they grow where I want them to grow. The same plants are weeds when they volunteer in a place I don’t want them to grow.
This reminds me of thought, our thinking process.
Some thoughts are appropriate at a certain time and place, and the very same thoughts can feel invasive and irritating at another.
For example, an appropriate thought could be, “Oh, I made a mistake, and I need to apologize.” While that thought may induce a sense of guilt, it also allows responsibility, and that is a lovely human trait, responsibility. Knowing I recognize my mistake is a positive thought, allows me to be human like everyone else on the planet, and gives me the opportunity to take responsibility and learn from it. It’s like planting a dahlia in the right place, enough sun and enough shade. On the other hand, the thought, “Oh, I made a mistake, and I need to apologize,” when a home-cooked meal doesn’t turn out quite right, and the recipient of that meal becomes angry and verbally aggressive. That thought is a little weed. It doesn’t need to be in the mind. Not all meals are perfect, and that’s okay.
Feeling guilty and responsible for someone else’s anger becomes a weed and comes at the wrong time in the wrong place. In this case, the recipient of the meal should apologize for being angry and abusive.
Thoughts come and go, just like flowers and weeds. We can mistake a weed thought for a flower. Am I responsible for someone else’s inappropriate behavior? No. I am not. So I can recognize the thought, sigh, and pull that weed thought out by the root.