What can you and I learn from weeds?
Did I hear you say, “Nothing!”
I thought the same thing. But I was wrong!
Last Saturday, while I was busy weeding part of our backyard, I had this sudden realization that came rushing into my awareness.
I accepted it as a gift from above to teach me valuable life lessons about the fertile soil of
my mind (and yours).
I realized that it's not only my backyard that needs weeding! But also my mind. And the weeding of my mind is a million times more important than weeding my backyard.
Let me explain why.
Your Mind is Either Friend or Foe
When you master your mind, it [your mind] can be the best tool at your disposal for navigating your day-to-day life. You'll be able to instruct your mind to focus on uplifting things.
Like love and peace. Like joy and happiness.
Even to focus on abundance! And to be calm in the face of events in the world.
When you reverse the roles, your mind becomes the master of your life… and
you its slave.
Your mind will wreak havoc in your life, bringing negativity, pessimism, self-criticism, self-doubt and a fear of the future. Even jealousy and hatred – two very destructive bedfellows – may sometimes pay you an unwelcome visit.
This realization about how damaging these weed-like negative thoughts can be, leads me to share 3 particular lessons I've learned to help with avoiding the fall out of having a negative mindset.
“If you correct your mind, the rest of your life will fall into place” – Lao
Lesson 1: Weeds grow uninvited and so do negative thoughts!
You don't have to sow or plant weeds to have them in your garden. You'll just see them one day and wonder where they came from.
This is also true of our minds.
It's easy for negative, unwanted thoughts to arrive in our minds. They don't need an invitation, they are party crashers that appear with no invitation at all.
The negative thoughts appear in relation to any – and all – areas of our lives: spiritual, career, relationships, success, financial, you name it.
If we don't keep watch at the gate of our minds, these unwelcome guests will make themselves at home.
And when they do, they will suppress the good, positive thoughts in our minds.
TIP: Watch your mind like a hawk and prevent negative thoughts putting down their roots. We can only hold one thought in our minds at a time. Make sure you give as much time as possible for good thoughts and leave little space (preferably none) for those pesky thoughts that want to derail your life.
Lesson 2: Weeds thrive even without care, so do negative thoughts
I have roses in my garden, and they need regular care. I must water them, prune them, spray them and generally pamper them. If I want the roses to look their best, I can't afford to neglect them.
Weeds, on the other hand, thrive when we leave them alone. They grow stronger, multiply quickly and will ruin our entire garden if we ignore them.
In the same way, any weedy thoughts will grow stronger if you let them be.
You cannot afford to be too busy to remove negative thoughts from your mind!
TIP: The moment you notice any negative thoughts, eradicate them at once! Simply notice the thought, and immediately choose not to buy into it. Then replace the negative thought with an opposite, empowering and uplifting thought instead. The longer you leave the bad guys alone, the more difficult it will be to get rid of them. So make it a daily practice to chip away at those weedy thoughts whenever they arise.
Lesson 3 – Weeds grow throughout the year, so do negative thoughts
Isn't it strange that useful things – like flowers, fruits, vegetables or grains – grow during specific seasons of the year, but weeds don't mind the season?
Weeds grow all year. Whether it's summer, fall, winter or spring, weeds will spring up and grow stronger.
Furthermore, leaving them won't help either – it will only let them grow stronger. It's almost as if they publish messages on “Weed-O-Media,” inviting their friends over to join the party because “over here, nobody bothers us!”
Sometimes, when I struggle to remove a particularly well-developed and strong weed, I wonder, “how did I miss this one last time when it was smaller?”
The same holds true for the negative thoughts in our minds. They will arrive any time, and grow and develop for as long as we allow them.
Assuming they will go away of their own accord is to delude oneself.
TIP: Do not take the I'll-do-it-later approach with your mind! If you ignore lesser negative thoughts, they WILL develop into bigger negative thoughts, causing a downward spiral in your life. Be self aware each day to catch and interrupt the negative thoughts as soon as you notice them.
A Final Reflection – What Triggers Your Weedy, Negative Thoughts?
Check the patterns of your life – are you more susceptible to negative thoughts during “wintry” times of your life? Do you tend to get more negative “visitors” in your mind after certain events?
One of my teachers calls such events our “trigger” events, because these external situations, circumstances or interactions trigger the negative thoughts in our minds, resulting in painful feelings.
Once you know your triggers, you are forewarned and forearmed. If you get triggered, you'll be more prepared to deal with the automatic negative thought and feeling reaction.
You have the ability to disempower the old “trigger-reaction” pattern. For instance,
if you notice that you become more negative after you've been unsuccessful in a job application, then bolster yourself for that before you go for an interview to safeguard against the weedy thoughts taking root.
Related Resources for Dealing with Negative Thoughts
Schalk Lubbe is a writer who wants to play a role, even if just a tiny one,
in spreading the messages of love and hope around the world.