The weeding never ends!
While weeding, I was thinking about a seminar I ran as an inpatient* psychologist where we talked about listening out for the voice of that Pathological Critic**. We talked about saying kind, gentle things to ourselves and how, given how persistent some of our negative Critic messages are, watching out for these messages. I made the point then that one single weeding is not enough – these messages keep coming back.
As I was weeding though, I was thinking about how to reconcile this view with the view we hold in mindfulness – that thoughts are just thoughts. Rather than fighting our thoughts (or pulling out the weeds), we let our thoughts just be. It doesn’t mean we believe them. Rather, we see them for what they are: simply stories our mind tries to tell us.
Help came in the form of seeing a stinging nettle plant. Before I started drinking nettle tea and discovered that nettle has benefits for the soil and soul, I had pulled out this plant with quite a lot of distaste for the prickles.
What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have never been discovered
Ralph Waldo Emerson
So – thoughts, like weeds, are simply what we make them. Like all plants, we can hold these lightly, doing what we need to do with them, knowing that some will flower and some will not. Some are useful to us and some are not.
*in patient, not impatient!
**you can download a worksheet and audio file about the Pathological Critic from my website: www.kumari.co.nz, under “Resources”