My return home from vacation provided me with the opportunity to witness the beginning of the summer flowers in my gardens. The arrival of orange daylilies, coneflowers, goosenecks, and the awaking of the butterfly bush all mingling together to bring color and a joyful place for the pollinators to do their work. I add the life-sustaining supplement of water from the too little rain during my days away. In this floral awakening, I reflected on how I am allowed to participate in the role of the Creator. I have a comforting connection to my garden, and I wait to see how it all comes together, knowing I have given it my best efforts. Within this grand scheme, lies the weeds. Every gardener knows the battle of the "miss placed plant.” I am no different. As I dropped my bags, I begin removing them was a fury of activity. They were enjoying my vacation, too as they quickly grew to maturity in size and space. Having a "field day," one might say. I think of them laughing, “She’s not here. We’re safe." They invited all the other weeds to multiply and crowd out the delicate flowers. “Pushy weeds. You know you don’t belong here. How many times must I pull you out before you leave for good?” I announced.
In this playful thinking, I thought about my own "weeds of words and thoughts” that keep coming up in my mind and my heart no matter how many times I try to prevent them. Growth in spirituality and becoming a creature of love (all the time!) is challenging to realize in this mortal lifetime fully. However, this reality does not mean that we can't do some significant work in growing love and crowding out the "weeds" right now. The question is, how exactly do we do this "weeding."
Self-awareness is a start. Are you even aware that you are making a judgment statement or being unkind? Maybe you're so used to saying something because everyone else is doing it and it's a commonplace practice in your family or work life. Maybe making a snide comment under your breath about someone or a situation is easy for you to do. Is no one listening? Even if no one hears, you are adding negative thoughts and removing yourself from an opportunity for love to come in and fill you spiritually. A lost opportunity to a loving intention. When you find your "weeds" getting the best of you, and you are stringing along with a sentence full of judgment, unkind ideas, or words. STOP yourself!! “Pull” them up and out of your thinking and actions. Offer a prayer to refocus your thoughts and words. Fr. Leon Pereira talks about this idea at time mark 29:54 - 35:00 in this video link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0gb4FJx4kTQ I tweeted this video a few months ago for the people traveling on the Marian Pilgrimage. I love how Fr. Leon turns negative thinking into a prayer. I have found his practical example of praying for others and refocusing on love to be helpful. I feel much better when I do this spiritual practice. I find I am not weighed down by negative emotions and instead find a new openness in my heart, which allows more room for love. I believe our intentional prayer helps others to have a change of heart.
As in any new skill, keep on practicing. You will catch yourself before you even begin to start the emotional huffing and puffing cycle. Pull those weeds out of your life and replace them with beauty and love. In Matthew 13:24-30, The Parable of the Weeds Among the Wheat, we are told that both weed and wheat grow together until the harvest. We choose by the use of our free will which one we become in our lifetime. I hope you choose wisely.
My prayer is that this blog entry will find it’s way from my heart to your heart. Peace be with you.