“In creating a place of honor for every issue, and every experience, we create
a different form of power that is rooted in the whole truth of who we are.” ~Ai-jen Poo
Some of you may be aware of (or are regularly visiting) our Practice Space where we offer a Daily Question to inspire grateful reflection. Each day we are moved by and learn from the responses that appear. The reflections are joyful, poignant, subtle, poetic, loving, generous, sophisticated, playful, vulnerable, and, of course, infused with gratefulness.
We offer the following selection of responses to one of our recent Daily Questions. May these reflections serve to open a doorway to gratefully loving the world and finding ways to live accordingly.
“In the garden of life, the weeds have taught me that suffering can lead to wisdom and that when things don’t go perfectly, we can appreciate the times when things have gone well and look forward to the future with the hope that things will go well again.”
– Hot Sauce
“To embrace what I find challenging most of the time, if not all the time. Weeds are blessings strengthening us, teaching us to be better and seeing our hearts as gardens of flowers and beauty.”
– Lee Anne
“There is a ground which nourishes everything.”
Photo by Chetan Kolte
“Quite a few years ago I arrived at the philosophy that if I like and appreciate who I am today then I have to accept that all the ‘weeds’ were part of making me this person. Each one has taught me something I’ve incorporated into how I approach life, how I treat other people, what I value. In the grand scheme of things even the weeds make oxygen we need to live.”
– Barb C.
“A lovely metaphor – the garden of life! Weeds continually teach me many things:
“The weeds teach me tenacity and the possibility to flourish in the midst of some not-so-nurturing conditions.”
Photo by Markus Spiske
“Weeds are not to be ignored and should be pulled when necessary. I think about this when I weed my own garden… some weeds run really deep and have this interesting system underground. It’s like any old wounds we might be carrying around. We can pull the surface away, but they will grow again unless we go deep to get the roots.”
“Weeds have taught me that life gets tough and I am stronger than I realize with each weed I’ve pulled.”
“Some weeds remind me not to neglect the beauty of the commonplace and wonder in the ordinary. If a dandelion were rare, we would marvel at it. That bright yellow bloom and amazing seed pod. Children know this wonder. Some weeds remind me to retain the wonder of childhood when my heart leapt up at the sight of a dandelion and I was drawn to them and chased after their delicate seeds dancing on the wind, when I held buttercups under my chin and collected clover blooms and tied them into bracelets and crowns. They weren’t ‘weeds’ to me then. They were marvels and mediums for creation, imagination, exploration. George Eliot said that we never could have loved the earth so well if we had no childhood in it. And I believe that’s true. The key is to somehow keep that connection alive as we grow older.
Some weeds also remind me to always look for the flower in the ditch, as it were. Flowers like chicory, mullein, and fleabanes that grow in the dry, dim, and dismal places, where it seems that nothing else would grow. There is beauty even there.”
Photo by Ivan Dostal
“Weeds taught me that I could grow in spite of their presence. They made me tougher, more resilient. At other times the weeds showed me where and how I could grow and flourish. By blocking off one path, they forced me into new directions that I wouldn’t have discovered otherwise.”
“That the ‘weeds’ of life frequently have been just as beautiful and sometimes more reliable than the flowers I thought I had planted.”
“Well, if the ‘weed’ is something unwanted and unplanned for, I guess it has taught me to not be too set on my plans and expect challenges along the way. Weeds are irrepressible and wild, tough and tenacious. I think I identify more with the weeds than the pampered and tended plants. Yes, I think there is much to learn from the ‘weeds’.”
– Charlie T.
“I am human.”
“That there is not a single difference concerning their being lovable just as they are. The difference with ‘not-weed’ might just be beauty less visible as to untrained eyes and heart, untrained like mine have been. Deeply grateful for the whole of creation and the ‘garden of life’ and for the one creating force of it all.”
We offer our deepest thanks to all of you who shared your experience of learning from the “weeds” in the garden of life. If you would like to add a rich practice to your life, we invite you to visit our Practice Space to join the welcoming community who connect there each day.
And for you, what have the weeds in the garden of life taught you? We invite you to share your reflections below.
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Weeds remind me to be gentle because I can uproot the plants I want.
They remind me of being gentle with loved family members-especially those whose views are not mine.They are still special to me.
Weeds have taught me to really appreciate things when they are going well; and to appreciate what we sometimes don’t even give a second thought to. I have also learned that not all weeds are truly weeds at all.
At one point while going through separation and divorce, my Ed-husband called me a « selfish, self-centered phony bitch ». Those words really stung of course, and in my pain and anger were hard to truly hear. But in the course of time, I realized he was right and I began to realize how much I needed to change. I saw that forcing myself to be unselfish with my smile, my money, my time, myself was what I needed to do, and the rest would follow. It has been a battle against my inner bitch! I believe I’ve made progress, but still have a long way to go! One good thing that came out of divorce is truly something to be grateful for. It has led to better relationships and joy in my life. My ex and I are now friends too!
That it’s all about perspective and my personal agenda. A weed is a plant growing where I don’t want it. I grow my backyard as pasture for my bunnies. The wide variety of wild plants is a gift.
When those same plants grow in the rose garden and choke the roses, I pull them up. I have a beautiful flowering vine that has tiny seeds. It no longer grows just around the front porch.
It’s everywhere, even in the back lawn. Same plant, just different hopes and expectations on my part.
Everything and every person has value and a great deal to offer. I might be experiencing them in a place and at a time that doesn’t suit me, but that is not a judgement on their worth. In another time and place I might find them to be my greatest blessing.
Be grateful for everything, even when I cannot understand its purpose.
The weeds have taught me that everything happens exactly like it’s supposed to. We don’t know anything and that wisdom is born out of surrendering everything we think we know.
We can spread wisdom and compassion all over the world – just like weeds. Beautiful weeds.
The weeds in my life taught me that we need them in order to grow, in order to learn. Being resilient and the tenacity to outgrew them, or deal with the inner roots in order to pull them out of our lives is a great challenge. We need to learn that sometimes, even the most beautiful flowers grow out of weeds.
Weeds are plants that grow where. people don’t want them to grow. Some of the most beautiful flowers grow on plants that we label as weeds.
The dandelion is a good example of a plant that gets no respect at all. The dandelion is a hated weed with beautiful flowers and multiple uses if we quit fighting them long enough to learn about them and from them.
Thank you for this wonderful perspective shift. Sometimes the effort we spend fighting the weeds is much greater than the energy it would take to simply pause long enough to seek understanding.
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