I love yard work. Being outside, feeling the sunshine, getting into the dirt…so healing to me. Tuesdays I work in the yard and this week I found myself lost in thought as I weeded our beds. As I let my mind ponder, I began to see how weeding is much like counseling.
Weeding is a way of tending our little patch of earth…counseling is a way of tending to our stories. I heard it once said, “what we need are gardeners not mechanics.” In other words we don’t need “fixing” we need “tending.”
As I pulled weeds I also realized there are a few ways to go about it, some of which are more lasting and some a quick fix.
When pulling a weed the last thing I want to feel is the weed snap off of the root. Immediately I feel like, “well, this one will be back tomorrow.” Most of the time this happens because I am in a hurry to make my yard look better and just to be done.
We do that don’t we?
We want quick fixes and a way to look better… like we’re fine (which is a four letter word by the way).
Another way is to go after the root. To do this is to dig around a bit, push back the mulch, take your time. It is so satisfying when a long root slips out of the ground without snapping.
This is what we want isn’t it?
We need to take our time to get to the root of what it is that is bothering us. We need to get our hands dirty and push away the things the root is buried under in order to gain the freedom and healing we desire.
As I have done my own work in therapy and as I have walked alongside my clients, I/we have discovered roots of shame, unworthiness, fear of abandonment, the inability to trust…I could go on and on. These “roots” produce weeds of isolation, emotional depression, anxiety, the inability to be vulnerable, relationship problems/struggles, addictions…again, I could go on and on.
Going after the root of why we do what we do is not easy nor is it a quick fix. Tending to our stories takes time and care. This I what I believe therapists are here for… to walk alongside you and at times help push back the things on the surface to help you go to the root. Ultimately, freedom is what we are after…freedom to not have “weeds” choke out the good things that need to grow.
I love unexpected lessons that come from even something like the mundane experience of weeding. May you be encouraged to tend to your story and to discover more and more about who you truly are.
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