Unearthing the Weeds
Recently, I spent the morning pulling weeds out of my backyard. They’re pretty; they resemble daisies, but they became invasive and overgrew quickly. It had rained very hard the night before, so the ground was soft, and the weeds came out easily – roots and all! It was very satisfying to pluck them from the earth. As I pulled out the weeds, my mind wandered to a podcast I had heard, in which the author discussed how we frequently revisit stories of past pain, allowing them to influence our present and restrict our self-perception. I decided that each weed could represent a story—a narrative I told myself about why I was the way I was. Reflecting on some of my stories, I realized most of them weren’t true, but they colored the way I showed up in the world. They were stories about what I believed other people thought, stories about what I thought about myself, and stories about events long past that could (should) no longer hurt me.
A Garden of Change
I imagined these stories as neurons in my brain. As I pulled out each weed, the root released from the soil with a wet, sucking sound, its branches untangling from the grass of my lawn, and the story was also pruned from my psyche. I realized I was cultivating a space for something new—new stories, new beliefs, new truths. I might have gone a bit overboard because it took me a few hours, but every weed I pulled gave me a sense of freedom and relief.
Lessons from the Weeds
There was a sense of conflict in me because these plants are living things, and I felt like I owed them their life. But I realized these plants were here to teach me a lesson. As each one released its grip on the earth, so did an old, tired story in my brain. I decided that not every plant needs to live in my garden, just like not every person needs to be my friend, and not every story is still worthy of being told. With gratitude, I kept pulling these weeds out, amazed at how easily they let go. (Why hadn’t I done this sooner?)
Reclaiming My Space
The weeds weren’t firmly rooted, so I had been tolerating them out of a sense of loyalty or duty to life. I hadn’t chosen them, and they weren’t worthy of my care and attention. The truth is, I have free will. I have a choice in what gets to grow in my garden, a choice in the people and beliefs I hold in my heart and on my property. When I chose to let these things go, I took my power back. Right now, there are some bare spots in my backyard, and that’s okay. It was empowering to reclaim my space and let go of what wasn’t providing value or beauty in my life.
From a holistic perspective, all aspects of my “self” were engaged in this activity. My mind conceived the idea and set the intentions. My body pulled each weed, leaving its mark. My spirit recognized a profound connection between the two, solidifying it as a new integral part of me. What’s truly fascinating is that I hadn’t planned for this; it all naturally converged to teach me.
Here’s a recap.
- The timing has to be right: Pulling the weeds up from the root would have been impossible if the ground was dry. The rain had to happen.
- Get to the root of your issue: Mowing over the tops of these plants did little to stop their growth.
- Trust your gut: The podcast and weed metaphor just bubbled up and I went with it. It was an “in the moment decision”
- Change is a holistic process: My mental thoughts combined with physical action created profound, embodied change. I will never forget this day.
- It’s good to choose to let go: Not everything, idea, person or belief has to be forever. You get to choose.
These “weeds” can have a significant impact on your ability to navigate the hardship of diabetes. If your diabetes garden has a few weeds, I can help.
Questions? Send me a note!
All my best,