A lesson on pulling those pesky thoughts from your mind
Like many, I took advantage of the nice weather recently and did some yard work; I focused the day on pulling weeds and laying fresh mulch. As I pulled up each weed, I found myself examining their roots. Most of the weeds were small with weak root systems and could be pulled up easy, but then there were some I came across that were much larger, with much more extensive root systems. In order to eradicate these weeds, I had to dig them up and, in some cases, cut the roots off!
Is this not the same for the negative thoughts we let grow in our minds? Some are mild thoughts; they come, but we can quickly dismiss them. Others are extensive and have roots that are so entangled in our everyday thoughts, they often rob us of the joys that today has to offer. Anxiety, depression, and PTSD are examples where negative thoughts can consume our minds, all day, every day.
The sources of these negative thoughts are often criticism, rejection, neglect, abuse, and trauma. Unfortunately, most of us will not escape this world without experiencing at least one of these, so then what do you do? You pull your weeds!
“It’s important to rid your garden of weeds because they rob your soil and your plants of important nutrients and water.”http://www.seedlingsgardening.com
The only way to remove weeds and keep them from taking over your yard is by pulling them up from the root, and at times when they are too big, you have to just grab the shears and cut them off!
Here are the steps I follow when I need to weed my mind –
- Schedule Time to Weed – I had to schedule time to clean up the yard. You must do the same with your mind. Be intentional about taking some quiet time to listen to the thoughts you tell yourself daily.
- Identify the Weed – When cleaning up the yard, I would have to stop, look at the plant and confirm it was a weed before I pulled it. Do the same with your thoughts. As they come and go, question them, determine if it is a fact or just a lie that is wearing a really good disguise. An example may be the thought you are not good enough. A parent may have told you this on repeat, but this is not a fact, it is person’s opinion, often fueled by their own insecurity. This would be a lie that is posing as a truth. It’s a weed!
- Pull the Weed – When weeding, it is important you pull the whole root or the weed will grow back. What do you need to completely remove from your life so the negative thoughts do not continue? You may need to break off the relationship, which can include the negative friend, distance yourself from that family member, quit the job, unfollow the negativity on social media, limit or stop watching the news or certain videos on YouTube.
- Plant Positive Seeds – Once soil is free from weeds, it makes room for seeds to be planted and life to grow. Do the same with your mind. Plant seeds of positivity and truth; this may include positive self-talk, hanging around more supportive friends and/or mentors, watching inspiring videos, reading self-help books or things that make you feel good, uplifting music, follow positive people on social media, or seek counseling.
“Weed seeds come in abundance and from many sources while also having the ability to lay dormant in the soil for years before germinating.”http://www.fairwaygreeninc.com
It is important that you weed your thoughts often because different life experiences will cause different weeds to spring up and as stated, some do not spring up until years later.
Your mind is a garden. It is important that you tend to the garden of your mind so you position yourself to reach your highest potentials. Often, the weeds hold us back by instilling fear and self-doubt. It is time to pull your weeds and plant your seeds!