What makes us drift? What produces inconsistency? When we act inconsistent with our true self, how do we recover? Do you ever ask these questions? If not, you are far more evolved than me!
I flail and fail daily. Morning traffic remains my most consistent barometer of my heart. I also rise and shine daily. How can both be true of one guy in the same skin? I confess I really don’t know. I do know that it’s hard to “see” the soil of a life. Some patches don’t appear to be good but are so rich in nutrients that you can’t help but grow stuff.
But, damn those weeds! They are prolific. They give the impression that a patch of ground is good for nothing else. Yet, if the weed flourish, the soil must have nutrients. The soil must have good structure. And, so it is with us.
Weeds arise from the lack of tending, not the lack of suitable soil. I am convinced, most dirt is good dirt. There are few sociopaths in the world and a case can be made that dirt is irredeemable! But for most, our weed problem is a lack of tending, not a lack of good dirt.
Morning traffic remains an indicator for me. But that’s easy, isn’t it? That is such a common and understandable reason for the weeds that crop up every-damn-time in that commute. But this is supposed to be honest. This is intended to go a bit deeper. This is meant to be transparent.
I fail. Often. I have treated others in ways that are inconsistent with what I profess as my core. I have done so in ways that have damaged connection, severed relationship, lived well below expectations of myself and of others. I’m most concerned about the former and it usually causes the later. The weeds of my life have, at times, been the most noticeable crop in my garden.
Bad dirt? I don’t think so. I sure hope not. Bad tending? Bad maintenance? Bad fertilizer? Bingo! The same dirt that causes weeds to flourish serves productive and beautiful plants and flowers just the same. But that soil must be tended. The weeds must be pulled, down to the roots, not just the leaves. Then nutrients added to make that soil rich. Finally, good seed is required.
It really is that simple, and that difficult.
The ability to see myself in that light is critical. Recognizing my soil as good but my tending as lacking is honest and hopeful. Weeds can be pulled. But remember, the wind is powerful. Those weeds may have already scattered seed in other places and taken root in otherwise good soil. The weeds I allow to grow unchecked for a time can find root in the soil of those close to me, those I care about. Those I love.
It is not for me to pull those weeds. Mine is to acknowledge my lack of attention and carelessness to my own soil that allowed bad seed to blow their way. I can ask for forgiveness. I can ask for grace. I can’t pull their weeds.
That grace helps me see that my soil is good even if my gardening sucks. It ought to help me see it in others too. When I see weeds from another garden popping up in my dirt, I must remember the lesson of my life and apply it liberally to others.
It may not always look like it, but there’s good dirt everywhere.