Weeds. If you own a home, you have them.
And they grow really well, even when nothing else that you want to grow, will. Here’s how I handle them. I mow over them with the lawn mower “this time” because it would take just too much time to stop and pull them out. I tell myself “I’ll get to them later”, and end up forgetting about them until I see them the next time I mow the lawn. My theory is, “If you can’t see ‘em growing, everything’s cool.” That plan works for the weeds in the grass. For the weeds in the flower beds, I’ll admit I’m lazy. I only go after those weeds that stick out so rudely that you just can’t ignore them anymore. I guess it’s sort of the Whack a Mole game mentality. Hit it if it springs up. Sometimes though, I’ll run across a weed I’ve put off “until next time”, and while I wasn’t looking, it acquired some sort of bionic power to grow exponentially. I pull on it. I strain. I just. Can’t. Yank. It. Out. At this point, I’m berating myself that I didn’t get to it when it was puny and easy to pull up. At this point, it usually means hauling out the trowel or even the shovel to excavate the nuisance.
I think each of us have weeds growing on the inside of us, too. If you’re breathing, you have them. These not so helpful thoughts, feelings or behaviors may have just lazily blown into our lives and found a place to take root when we weren’t paying attention, or they might have been planted within our spirits with our help, because we didn’t think it would be a problem. These weeds can cause a lot more frustration and heartache than those pesky wild plants in your yard. It seems most folks take my mower approach. Keep ‘em low and out of sight. That’s a quick and easy fix, and that might work to fool the people who aren’t that close to us, much like it may work for those who drive by our yards and don’t see the weeds in our lawns and flower beds.
The most common mistake I think counseling clients make is doing one, maybe two sessions, and if things feel better, they don’t come back. I call that approach “mowing weeds”. Those relational problems will be back later.
There’s just no hiding our spiritual weeds from those with whom we live life. Those unsightly spiritual weeds come back to cause more problems in our relationships, because they grow not only in us, but also in the space between us. The only healthy solution is to take the time and energy to dig them up by the roots. Some weeds have been growing for a long time, and have developed really deep root systems. We’ve rationalized or tried to ignore them, even when they caused problems at home or at work. Maybe it’s time to admit what others likely already know. You have some weeds that are messing up your spirit and your relationships. Like yard weeds, it may take some effort to uproot them, but the peace you’ll gain is worth it. With just a few additional sessions (because, as I like to say, counseling works if you work), you can get rid of those weeds by yanking them out by the roots.
Contact me to schedule a session if you are noticing a few unsightly weeds in your life or relationship.
Rev. Greg Griffin is a Board Certified Pastoral Counselor and Forgiveness Coach in private practice in Marietta, GA. His specialty is relationship repair and rescue- helping partners, spouses, and parents and their adolescents. He’s also the author of Dungeon Times Survival Guide, and Vital Faith.