“What is a weed? I have heard it said that there are sixty definitions.
For me, a weed is a plant out of place.”
~Donald Culross Peattie
Weeding reminds me of coaching and therapy.
People often develop coping skills or establish habits that outlive their purpose and become entrenched or “root bound” in their lives. These old patterns can often create more problems than they solve. Resolving them is possible.
Take an inventory:
- Are there habits that you know you would be healthier without?
- Do you turn on tv and watch even though there are other things you want to do?
- Do you have a pattern in responding to those close to you that you’d like to change?
- Do you give a long-winded explanation to justify behaviors?
- Do you become defensive with a simple question?
Some plants have great seeding systems—so the earlier you get it out of the ground the better.
With other plants the root system is well established and other plants sprout from that system. If you don’t get the entire system it continues to grow and spread. Some of these plants also have great seeding mechanisms. These plants require more time, patience, skills and tools to extract.
Some of us have habits or issues that are much like these plants. Our tendency to speak out inappropriately, angrily or with unkind or inopportune comments is usually something we develop young.
The roots run deep. Our “system” of communicating in all areas of our lives, professional, personal, in intimate relationships and with everyone we meet is affected by that one “weed.” From our thoughtless comments spring attitudes, feelings and other issues.
What will you put back in this area? Be prepared to plant once you weed.
You can’t remove weeds from a garden without putting something back. If you do, you’ll just get more weeds. Planting flowers or vegetables ensures that the weeds don’t overrun your garden! There will still be weeds, but only when you look close.
When you have a garden the produce is what is eventually most prominent. And if you weed daily, tending to bad habits or unproductive thoughts as they come up, then eventually your garden will be practically weed free and all you see is the product of your hard work!
Coaching is like pulling undesirable plants that need to come out, and that don’t require as much time and effort. Therapy is like weeding an overgrown garden where there is so much to work with it’s hard for one person to tackle alone.
In coaching, the root system of our concerns are not entrenched, and so issues haven’t seriously spread into many other areas. A coach is like having someone helping you plan your garden.
You won’t need them forever, but their help in getting started always makes starting so much easier. A therapist helps you weed the garden, helping you identify what plants you want to keep, what you want to remove. A therapist also helps you see how the garden got the way it did, and the relation of each of the plants to each other.
No matter how you get to the root of the problem, alone, with a coach or a therapist, or even a trusted friend, until you get to the root of the issues they’ll keep showing up.