The Bloomin' Blog
This morning, I tried to quickly pull some weeds in my flower bed. Here's the thing...you can't pull weeds quickly, whether they're in flowerbeds, relationships or your own spirit.
You have to commit to getting dirty and staying with the project "until you get the little white roots out."
That is how my mother taught me to pull weeds when I was young. Her guidance came as she looked over my efforts to help with her flower beds. I felt that I'd accomplished great things by simply eliminating the part of the weed that could be seen and thereby improving the appearance of the garden.
Whether or not she meant to provide a metaphor that would shape the way I think about relationships is not certain, but I am guessing she did.
She explained that superficial weed control just makes the weeds all the more determined. The roots grow deeper and produce even more shoots through the surface in other locations.
How does that compare to your relationships? You've probably heard of emotion that comes out sideways...the times when you react to something that is totally unrelated to the real source of anger, hurt, grief or worry and thereby confuse those in relationship with you...that's because we failed to find the little white roots.
This is true in every relationship including management and parenting.
Root eradication takes time and dedication. It takes the right tools, which usually involve professional help to give you support, perspective checks and to make sure you don't destroy valuable growth along with your weed whacking.
In my landscaping and flower garden, professional help has taught me how to protect my efforts with weed barriers and good planting techniques.
In the garden of my spirit, professional counseling has helped me see how the things I do and think either limit my growth and relationships, or support them.
In my career, professional consultation and continuing education improve my perspective, give me insight into toxic habits I had previously counted as strengths and help me focus my efforts.
Our internal space...whether it's our capacity to work and deal with people, or the space required to settle our spirits and find peace...is limited. The only way to create more of it is to remove what doesn't belong. That should motivate you to get started weeding. Get started. Make space so goodness grows.
Note: other people aren't the weeds. Weeds are the personal practices that limit our ability to deal with other people. Do not read this and begin whacking anyone else, please!
TweetRecently, my father … Click here for the rest of the postdied. I have four sisters. We were all with him when he died and our loving, heartbroken families were all around us in the week following. I learned so very much about myself in those days. Much of it, I don’t like much. If in some small way, this post can bring hope to any who are brokenhearted and weary, I am simply sharing what I’ve learned so far…but I am only 10 days into the journey without the man who I have relied on all my life. I have much to learn, and this is just the beginning.
When we are in the midst of grief, a sinister force seems to lurk at the edge of our spirits, knowing there are so many new, broken places to gain access to our thoughts and our heart corners. I think the force is sin. Since the simple (as in, watered down so we can tolerate it, simple) definition of sin is “to miss the mark,” it makes sense that it is the force that keeps us spinning
Tweet… Click here for the rest of the postWhen my nephew Bill was a very young child, he and his mother developed a bedtime ritual that rid him of his worries and concerns of the day. He called it “getting the yuckies out.” Once he’d shared his troubles with his mother, he was content to call it a day. None of those yucky thoughts could hover at the edge of sleep to threaten his pleasant dreams.
We all need to take time to rid ourselves of the yucky stuff that depletes our energy and clips the wings of our hearts. A regular assessment and exorcism of the dark, clingy burdens to our spirits liberates us. Sometimes, it takes a really good therapist to help identify what really bothers us. But there are also simple steps we can take ourselves when we feel yuckiness creeping in.
Phone a friend. I told a trusted friend that a particularly cathartic conversation (that’s what I call it when I cry and ramble incoherently) with her was like cleaning out the closets of my soul. When you finally take time to clean
TweetHappy New Year’s Day!
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I am looking out on a welcome sight this morning–a blanket of snow. As we have not yet invested in a snow shovel upon our return to the Midwest, it might seem strange that the white flakes bring me such comfort…but they do. I think anyone who has witnessed the drought in Kansas and the rest of the Great Plains would accept moisture in any form right now.
Droughts are difficult to plan around because one never knows exactly how long they’ll last. The same might be true for life circumstances that are totally beyond our control. The financial setbacks, health concerns or heart break that come out of the blue and extend beyond our resources to cope.
This year, I will focus on being better prepared for all things. We still have a plan…a plan to get out of debt; rebuild retirement savings; help the kids with college and to improve our drafty, dear old house. But I know for a fact those plans can all fizzle.
It is how we cope when our
TweetI’m having coffee with the queen this morning. This is courtesy of my sons and their recent trip to Great Britain. It’s interesting to have HRM staring back at me as I write. I tell myself she is beaming her approval.
I have encountered many stop and think moments regarding forgiveness lately. I noticed the pattern, but largely ignored it as there was no recent hurt I needed to release; no injury I needed to pardon.
Earlier this week, I heard a great interview on Sirisus XM’s The Message with the group Tenth Avenue North… Click here for the rest of the post about their new song, Losing. The lyrics echo the words of Jesus from the cross, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do,” against the plea for grace to forgive, even when we feel like it means we’re losing. I almost switched channels when I heard the interview begin. While there is some Christian music I love, I often find the banter irritating, simplistic and preachy. These guys were articulate and interesting.
And it’s true, when we truly surrender the hurt
TweetSome of you may have an immediate sound associated with this image. The end of the last track on an album either triggered the arm to return to its resting place, or to just run in place playing the same static over and over.
Our minds work in much the same way. We program ourselves to move from one track to the next. Occasionally, we allow life’s little nicks to create ruts and we don’t move on. We repeat the same behavior that leads to the same response that creates the story we believe to be the truth about our existence.
I love it when a song catches me by surprise with exactly the message I need to hear. U2′s Stuck in a Moment should play in the background of this post.. Take four minutes to give this… Click here for the rest of the post a listen. It will be the next best thing to being in the car with me!
Now I know there are all sorts of clinically real diagnoses that limit one’s ability to change his or her attitude. But for most of
What do you see?
I saw loads of reasons for self pity this Manic Monday… Click here for the rest of the post. I felt heavier and heavier as the day went on.
I know some of you are there…maybe you, too, are worried about the what nexts of life…how will you pay for-who will come-what will happen if-why don’t they call-who cares-why didn’t I…those prickly worry scarves we knit that we wrap around ourselves hoping for protection and comfort until we can’t bear the weight of them one more second. Tonight, I was there.
Quite honestly, I think I’m weary. I have had a year that began with non-stop travel, to non-stop change, to chirpy “I’m fine! Great! Blessed beyond measure!” regardless of the question.
My friend Lori Friddle told me a great acronym for the word fine. But it begins with a word I shouldn’t use, even in such understanding company,
TweetIf music came to mind, I hope it was the John Mellencamp version that will be playing through your head. I prefer it to Bruce Springsteen.
But I didn’t sit down at the keyboard today to wax prolific on the music of my youth (Small town came out my last year of college.) In fact, I was going to shut down the website this week. After all, I no longer need a website, and I felt that the anonymity afforded me in Phoenix made it much safer to blog than I would experience since moving back to Hutchinson, Kansas in April.
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Hutchinson is a place where it is not at all unusual to hear a review of your life plans and a recap of how you spent your weekend from an acquaintance you haven’t seen for months (or in our case, years) while you’re waiting in line at the local supermarket.
This phenomena was very intriguing if not a little unsettling to Mary Charlotte when we first arrived.
“How do they know?” she asked.
“It’s just part of living