Gardening by Lorie Sheffer

March 27, 2011: “Gardening”

I remember reading something not too terribly long ago, about friendship being like a garden. They need to be tended and nurtured or they will wither and die. The analogy failed to include the part about having to pull weeds from time to time. If we are going to look at friendship, or any relationship, as a garden, then don’t we need to also think about the weeds? Weeds can be invasive, crowding out the “good” plants, stealing nutrients and water and leaving them prone to disease and distress. They tend not to notice or care about the good plants they have to take down in their effort to dominate.

Sometimes I think of that garden analogy and realize that it is time to pull some weeds. Sure, every friendship has its ups and downs, its misunderstandings. Those are the ones that need the extra care and attention. The weeds are the relationships that leave you feeling emotionally drained, used, or perturbed most of the time. The weeds tend to be those who, through consistently poor choices, create drama and then try to pull you in. They are the ones who always respond to your down times by telling you how perfect their life is by contrast. The weeds expect you to be there to help them through a crisis, but tend to become unavailable if you ever need to have the favor returned. They don’t respect boundaries.

I am not one to use herbicides in my garden. I don’t like to see that slow withering of the plants. I would rather just put on some gardening gloves and get in there and yank them out by the roots. It seems kinder, in way. In today’s age of technology such as caller ID and voice mail, you would almost have to try to be caught off guard by someone attempting to sabotage your time.

Last week marked the first day of Spring. What a perfect time to take a look at your garden, Tend to it as necessary, plant some new things you feel may be interesting. Spring is also the perfect time to make sure you are ahead of those weeds. Pull them as you see them, before they start to drop seeds or develop strong roots. You’ll save yourself much hard work later in the season and your other plants will be happy for the extra time you have to spend enjoying them.

By jeff noel

Retired Disney Institute Keynote Speaker and Prolific Blogger. Five daily, differently-themed personal blogs (about life's 5 big choices) on five interconnected sites.