It’s a beautiful spring day, and I find myself with a unexpected chunk of time. What a gift!
It’s time to lavish some attention on my flower garden, a garden I have loved and nurtured for over a decade. This garden has received hundreds of back-breaking hours of digging and amending, planting and tending. But, over the last two years, my heart has been heavy with grief and life simply felt too busy to allow myself the “luxury” of garden. This patch of ground that means so much to be has been neglected and has become overgrown. The original plants have been choked out by uninvited guests. The guests are pretty, I’ve allowed them in, but they are also greedy and have slowly taken over.
Today, I decide, it’s time to evict these unexpected visitors.
I feel guilty for destroying something beautiful. It seems rude to discard pretty flowers on a whim – even if they are weeds. Then I think about the original plants that I carefully selected, purchased, and planted all those years ago. The beautiful choices I have nurtured and tended, and, you could even say, mothered for the past decade. These plants are literally dying. They are smothered by the lovely yet unwelcome intruders.
As I yank them out of the ground, I realize that this patch of garden mirrors my life.
I am the original plant. I have invited people into my life who take too much from me, who need too much from me, who want more than I can give. I opened the gate to people who are choking me out of my own garden.
Because I am a nurturer, a mother, a caretaker, and a people-pleaser, my boundaries have been weak and even non-existent. I am keenly aware as I yank out handfuls of uninvited guests from around my dying plants that I need to do the same for myself. Energy vampires and others who know how to take but not to give have depleted the nutrients of my soil and almost choked me out.
Hours later, I am simultaneously exhausted and exhilarated as I look over my now neat and tidy garden. I have lovingly dug in rich, nutrient-filled compost around my plants so that they have what they need to grow strong and bloom bright. They are no longer fighting for space at their roots and living in the shadows of overbearing “friends”.
And now, I am determined to weed the garden of my life, to clear space for myself so that I can grow strong and bloom again. I have a list in my head of people who drain me and have decided to tell them “no” when they come to me with their demands.
If you feel choked out of your own life, I invite you to join my online Facebook community, Lost in Motherhood, where women come together to offer camaraderie and receive healing.