I’m so excited — we planted our garden yesterday! Once the weather starts to warm up, my fingers just start itching to get in the dirt. Gardening is very therapeutic for me, and I just love seeing everything grow. One thing I’m not so fond of, though, is pulling weeds.
Weeding is such a pain; you spend hours pulling those little suckers up and every time you turn around, new ones have taken their place. Frankly, there are times that I’d rather just let the weeds grow. I can’t do that though. If the weeds are allowed to grow, my vegetables have to compete with them for food and water. Have you ever heard the expression “growing like a weed?” Well, guess who’s getting all the food….
Not only do they rob your plants of the nutrients they need, they often grow so prolifically that they completely choke out the other plants. The next thing you know, you’ve got a garden full of weeds instead of a garden full of nice fresh veggies. This reminds me a lot of life sometimes.
Sometimes we dream a big dream or picture the life we want, start to see the possibilities, and set goals to achieve our dream. Our little baby dreams are so beautiful, so perfect, and we can’t wait to see them grow and bear fruit.
Then, along come the weeds. These “weeds” are anything that competes with our desire to live our best life, anything that interferes with accomplishing our dreams. Each person’s weeds will probably be different. My weeds are usually things like self-doubt, lack of focus, and the big one, the fear of “what if?” that I talked about here. There are lots of little weeds that can grow and choke out our dreams if we’re not careful. The best way to deal with them is to do what I do in the garden: pull them while they’re small.
The first step, of course, is to even recognize that there are weeds growing in our beautiful garden of dreams. Sometimes they’re so subtle we don’t even realize they’re there, like the little time-wasters (things like watching TV, mindlessly scrolling through Facebook, etc.) the negative, self-defeating thoughts that we allow to run through our minds unchecked, or the feeling that we have to be all things to all people. Sometimes these things are so much a part of our daily lives that we don’t even realize we’re doing them.
Once we recognize the weeds, we have to have a plan to eliminate them. It would be great to think that as soon as one comes up, we’d be self-aware enough to just get rid of it right then, but since we can’t always depend on that, it’s helpful to have a game plan. For example, using the Facebook scrolling example above, we could determine that if we were going to get on there (I know many of us have pages for our blogs or belong to different groups so it’s part of our work), we will set a timer for a certain amount of time, and once the timer goes off, get off of Facebook. I know this is a really simplistic example, but it shows that our strategies don’t have to be anything fancy, just something that helps get rid of the things that are interfering with the growth of our dreams.
We can have all the weed-control plans in the world, but if we don’t actually follow through with them, those weeds are still going to eventually suck all the life out of our beautiful baby dreams and keep them from growing into reality. This can be tough, because sometimes it would be easier to just let it go, but if we really want to accomplish that dream and live our best life we have to determine that we’re going to do whatever it takes to get rid of those things that are keeping us from it. Consistency is the key; the more we do it, the easier it becomes. Eliminating those little (or big) life-suckers give the good things room to grow and thrive.
Do you have any advice for dealing with the weeds in our “garden of dreams?” If you do, please share!