Every morning I have a little ritual.
I take a few minutes and meander through my flower beds to pull the weeds that have sprung up over night. I used to be extremely impatient with this annoying little bit of maintenance. In fact I would avoid it and only attend to the weeds when they were fully overgrown and there was no way that I could ignore them any longer.
But lately I’ve come to see daily maintenance as a relaxing way to observe the details. In addition to finding the weeds, I identify the new flowering buds. Although it seems like an endless battle, I realize that day by day, I’m eliminating the roots just a bit more. There are far fewer weeds than there were two months ago. By carefully attending to them each day, I am able to nip them before they begin to take over. I notice when they might be creeping in to choke out something healthy and I discover that some of them never return again after they’ve been pulled enough times. Occasionally I get a little impatient and don’t get the root pulled out and I know that in a few days it will quickly sprout up again. I know to be watching for it. I know I didn’t quite get that one.
I’ve also discovered how much this is a metaphor of my heart. It’s tempting to not wander into the places where I know the weeds may be growing. Out of sight out of mind, right? But a daily meandering through my heart allows me to notice the places where jealousy, comparison, greed, envy are springing up. A daily walk allows me to nip those things before they become overgrown. It can be discouraging of course to see them constantly recurring. One pull doesn’t usually completely remove the roots that are deep beneath the surface. Sometimes it takes many many return trips to completely eliminate that issue. But much like the weeds in my garden, the weeds in my heart grow less frequently with constant attention and care.
I’m learning to see the daily walk through my heart as much less defeating but more empowering. Every day is an opportunity to keep a pulse on what’s growing there.
Have you taken a walk through your heart lately?