Good morning! Spring is almost here, so I suppose it seems logical that my morning reflections would lead to thoughts of weeding. (I have never lived somewhere that required so very much weeding!)
When I was very young, I remember my grandmother teaching me how to weed. She gave us a small butter knife and showed us how to dig next to the weed and pull up the entire root. It wasn’t fun. I didn’t like it. The hot summer sun beat down on us, causing sweat to run into our eyes. She was trying to teach us a lesson that went beyond weeding. I know it wasn’t all fun for her either. I am sure she bit her tongue as my sister and I dug and pulled and dumped dirt and weeds into our little sand pails. I imagine we left more roots and holes in her beautiful lawn than we extracted weeds. While I hated it at the time, I am now so very thankful for the tangible lesson she taught us.
It didn’t take me many years to realize that if I extracted the roots as she had taught me, my weeding chores were vastly simpler the rest of the summer. Life went more smoothly. I became a master weeder (but I still hate weeding), and I tried to pass that on to my children.
The lesson? In life, if we take the time to do things the right way, as tedious and odious as the task may be, it frees up time in the long run and helps things to go more smoothly. I believe my favorite person to quote from said something like ‘if you don’t have time to do it right the first time, how are you going to have time to do it a second time?’.
What does this have to do with life coaching or counseling? Everything. Think of psychotherapy as getting at those deep roots. There are times when it is most effective to see a psychotherapist and work to getting the roots out. At other times it is more expedient and effective to work on the lawn itself. Afterall, it needs to be aerated, fertilized, seeded, and mowed to prepare it for future growth in the upcoming week, month, season. This is coaching and counseling.
I admit that I miss working as a psychotherapist. I am a deep waters kind of gal. I like getting at the roots. However, the reasons I left the practice remain. The reasons I moved in to coaching outweigh my heart tug from the other side. So for those times when it is more efficient to pull those deep roots, I will refer out. For those times it is more effective to fertilize or aerate or plant or mow, I will coach and counsel. Spiritual weeding inevitably occurs in both settings. Now if you are up to it…
Homework: Allow your mind to wander back to a time in your life that you had to go through something you did not like. What lessons did you learn from that chapter? Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you through this memory and to glean and reveal to you the lesson. Can you now turn that memory into one for which you are grateful? Hold on to the gratefulness and reframe that memory into one of value and appreciation. Give thanks to God for the lessons learned. Show Him gratitude today in your own way.