I have finally discovered the prickly bush, an insidious vegetation that has happily grown in my little wild wood, unnoticed and unscathed, for decades. I have turned my eyes to this bush this year with as much determination to weed it out as it is determined to grow.
It hides next to little indigenous trees, behind ferns, under other bushes. And its bark has thousands of little nettles, and one nettle burns if it connects to human skin.
So, it’s not an easy opponent.
Day after day, I have tromped into my little wood with my wood cutter in hand and waged battle. I am feeling mildly triumphant, if not a little battle weary.
Now, however, I am noticing that there are open spaces and bare spots in my woods where once there was greenery. I am a little anxious about this. What am I going to put in the prickly bushes place? How much will is cost?
I am reminded, once again, of those thoughts and feelings and beliefs we all have that may lie dormant in our lives but live there, creating a sense of fullness and activity, but do not serve a good purpose. These prickly bushes may be fear of change, a belief one isn’t loveable, a thought about not being up to the task at hand.
And if these are challenged and uprooted, is it possible to miss that easy answer to negativity? Will it mean that I will need to fill those empty spaces with a new energy, a heavy responsibility, an openness to vulnerability?
I thinks so. It is very uncomfortable, yet very easy, to bend under negative beliefs about Self. There can be relief in feeling unable to make a change even when change is possible. Handing over life to thoughts, feelings, and beliefs that are negative can be a prickly bush. It can fill one’s life with anger, frustration, and lack of direction.
Challenging thoughts, feelings, and beliefs can leave a spotty and barren place, where time and energy, new life and dedication could grow. It can be nerve-wracking, but claiming one’s path is no small thing.