The other day, A and I spent some time outside planting flowers, pulling some weeds and I did some trimming on our lavender bushes. Doing these things usually helps me put stress to good use or just puts me in a great mood. Not to mention, it usually gets my brain turning. So, I was trimming these lavender bushes that we have out front that really haven’t been our favorite bushes. They are out in front of our house in the corner where they are inconvenient to water or tend to. However, every time we go to the mailbox I walk past them. The last few times I had walked past the front one bothered me a bit. It hung over the sidewalk and so I’m probably I’m the only one it’s bothered. Finally I took the tensnips to them and started trimming the overgrown parts, and trimming off the dead branches.
The bush needed some serious tending too, hidden dead branches that weren’t serving any purpose. Some of these parts took a little tugging or clipping and some of them were loosely hanging there waiting to be taken away. I had to decipher if some parts were healthy enough to keep or if they were harming the plant more than helping it because some just needed some more water to thrive while others were doing more harm than good for the plant. Then I needed to trim the parts that were overgrown, got a bit too carried away and bring them back into their appropriate space. Lastly, there were some parts of the bush were healthy and thriving all on their own!
During all of this though, my mind started to turn. I was thinking about how much this plant really could relate with life. For me, I’ve been thinking a lot about where I spend my time. If I’m making good use of it, if I’m being present in my moments, what is filling me up and what is making me feel worn out. It’s like the bush in that aspect. We all have the same parts in our own lives.
There are things that are taking away from allowing us to really live to our potential – tasks, responsibilities, even relationships.
Then there are the things that are still hanging on but really aren’t helping our lives thrive, they are bogging our life plant down and leaving us feel less fulfilled and more weighted down. These things might be things we said yes to that we should have said no to, things we feel obligated to do or again, friendships.
We likely all have some of those parts of our lives that could really thrive if we gave them a bit more tending too – faith, relationships – things that have great potential if we put the effort into them to see them thrive.
Of course, we also have the overgrown parts too. These things could all be different for different people but some of these probably include: social media, negative thoughts or worries or fears, it could even be people that we are letting consume our lives in the wrong ways.
And finally, the things we get to look at and say “wow, these are the healthy and thriving things in our life right now!” Hopefully these things are the good stuff – faith, family, marriage, etc. but lets be honest – they don’t always fall into this category.
Sometimes all of these categories shift around for a little bit. Sometimes relationships thrive, sometimes they wither and sometimes they can’t be revived. The same goes for businesses, responsibilities and commitments.
In the recent months I’ve had to get very real with myself when it comes to these areas, which is likely why my brain started relating the lavender bush to life in the first place. I’ve really taken the time to look at all the places in spending my time and if they leave me feeling good or worn out, as well as, if I’m able to give certain things they attention they deserve in order to really thrive. For some things I had to take a genuine look at if I was investing my time there because I felt like I “should” or if I wanted to. I’ve had to look at relationships (business and personal) and commitments to see if they are really aligning with making sure my time is well spent. I had to ask myself of the time spent was worth the energy spent – good or bad. The process hasn’t been easy. Some things were easy choices, some were things I had to really mull over and soul search about. There were a couple things I’ve let stay to see if they thrive with the right attention with the knowing it might not & will need to be trimmed off later. While doing all of this though, I had to make sure that my priorities – the vital parts of my life (the heart of my plant of life) is thriving (i.e. The really important things like my family, faith, etc) – and what really feels right in my heart.
And you know what? There’s is something incredibly life-giving in looking at it all as a whole & seeing things all align. You feel lighter, less burdened. It hasn’t been the first time and it won’t be the last that I have needed to tend to my life and all the areas I place my time and energy. It’s so important and it feels so good.