Around this time last year I was sitting with my therapist and he told me something that would change how I viewed myself and how I treat the world around me. He told me:
Your mind is like a garden. In this garden, there are flowers, trees, shrubs, any kind of plant you want or like, growing there. However, there are also weeds. The flowers and trees and other plants represent the positive aspects of your life. These could be people, experiences, jobs, whatever that is for you.
The weeds, are negative aspects of your life. These could also be people, experiences, jobs, or whatever that happens to be for you.
Now, it is up to you to take care of your garden. No one can do this for you. You ultimately have the power to choose how your garden is taken care of. If you choose to let the weeds take over and choke out all of the flowers and trees, then that is what will happen.
The same will happen to you in life.
Or you can choose to weed your garden. There is a catch, though, to weeding your garden. See, when you weed a garden, you do not just weed the garden and then sit back and relax and enjoy the view for the rest of your life. On the contrary, you have to continuously weed the garden. Otherwise, new weeds will continue to grow and devour your garden.
You can weed the garden as soon as you see weeds start to grow, which will still make for some work, and the weeds still might have hurt to pull out of your garden, but it will not hurt as much as waiting until that weed grows into a giant thistle, with roots so deep you cannot get them out.
Weeds might hurt to pull out of your garden too. Some have those thorns that poke, but pulling a weed might still be better than allowing it to choke out an entire flower.
However, it is up to you what you choose to get rid of and what you choose to keep in your garden. No one can make those decisions for you, although some people might come along and try to tell you what is a weed and what is a flower and what you should leave and what you should keep, but ultimately, only you can make that choice, and only you can pull that weed.
As we near the end of the year it may be a good time for some personal reflection and a look into our own mind gardens. We may find that our gardens are healthy and happy and thriving. Or, we may discover there are some weeds that need to be pulled.