I was doing a reading for a client today. This message came through for her, but I feel called to share it with all of you too. Such a beautiful analogy of our triggers and how we react to them.
Imagine you have a garden. The flowers are beautiful, strong and healthy. You tend to your garden daily. Lovingly watering it and giving it all of the care you know it deserves.
Then one day, you go out to find a weed. It popped up, seemingly, out of nowhere. How dare this weed pop up and ruin your beautiful garden! So you quickly pull that weed, and once again you have a eye catching and wonderful garden. You feel better after ripping that weed right out. Soon enough, another weed pops up. So soon after the last one! You angrily rip it out too. The satisfaction is instant, but it doesn't last long, as the weeds just continue to pop up uncontrollably. They start to show up in pairs, and then in dozens. It is becoming unmanageable and your garden flowers are slowly dying. Your love and luster for the garden is diminishing, the weeds are too overwhelming so you've stopped giving it the tender care it requires.
Finally, you are fed up with your dying garden and all of it's weeds. You take the time to dig each weed up, right down to the root. It takes days, but you get them all. It was hard work, your fingers are blistered, you have a sunburn on your shoulders. Your back and your knees are sore and tired from spending so many hours crouched over, digging as deep as you can to get to as much of the root as possible.
You sit back, so satisfied with your work. It was hard, and you felt like giving up so many times. You persisted though, knowing that it would be so worth it in the end, to once again have this full and beautiful garden.
Weeks go by without any weeds. Then you go out one evening and there it is. A giant one, right in the middle of the garden. Your first instinct is to break down, give up again. "I did this already! I JUST did this! Why are the weeds still popping up? I did the work, I dug as deep as I could and here they are again. I just want to never see another weed again in my life." After you've felt the feelings, you realize that it would be so much easier to just dig this weed down to the root once again, instead of ripping it out in anger. You know the satisfaction of a weed free garden now, and you know it would be so much easier to get to the root of one weed, then a thousand at once. So after some deep breaths, you dig down and get that root. Once again, you are satisfied. You now know, and fully understand, that weeds are going to pop up again and again. You now have the tools to deal with them, one at a time, as they poke up through the dirt. You are a pro at digging up weeds, you can get to them so fast now and honour the journey it took to get here.
I love this metaphor. Every time you see the word "weed" replace it with trigger. Anger. Sadness. Frustration. Every time we ignore a trigger, we are letting those "weeds" grow rampant. We may think that by pulling the weed quickly, or shoving our feelings down, that we have solved the problem. But they will keep popping up, keep asking you to look at them until you do the work and dig deep to the root. It isn't always pretty, and can feel awful as you work through each trigger to get to the root, but the garden is so worth it. Healing is so worth it. Just as it was in the garden, our triggers will show up again. We are never fully "healed" or "weed free". Each time they pop up though, we will be able to dig down with ease, understanding that the roots need our attention just as much as the weed does.