Finding the good in the bad.

I like to think I’m a nurturing, loving person-I try to share a positive, peaceful energy at all times. I don’t like to feel anger or resentment.

This extends to my gardening style. I find it hard to completely remove weeds. What did they do that was so wrong? Are they really doing any harm?

I tend to let a few weeds stay and live their happy little lives amongst the rest of the garden and can’t help but apologise to the ones that I do pull out.

However… there is one weed that I have no love for.

Convolvulus Arvensis otherwise known as Bindweed, Creeping Jenny, Possession Vine or to me something I shouldn’t write here and is only muttered into the garden when the children aren’t around.

It has been my arch-enemy, my nemesis for the past few years, choking and wrestling down every other plant in my garden with its toxic, yet strangely beautiful vines.

I don’t enjoy feeling anger towards this plant and it doesn’t promote a feeling of peace whilst I’m gardening. In fact just setting eyes on it sends a rush of negativity through me.

In the Suttas, Buddha says:

Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.

Anger is a natural emotion felt by everyone. However it does have negative implications.

The Dalai Lama has said anger brings us ‘confusion and misery rather than peace, happiness and fulfilment’ and that ‘it is in our own self-interest to purify and transform’ it.

So how do we achieve that?

Talking to my husband about how I struggle to take time out just to enjoy myself, and how I’d love to spend more time in my garden, I realised this persistent weed was in fact going to allow me that outdoor time that I need so much for my sanity and happiness!

Suddenly my anger has turned to excitement and my negative mental link to this plant has been replaced with a more positive one-and dare I say even a hint of gratitude?

No room for Bindweed here…

Indeed when I look at other aspects of my life which have caused me anger or sadness, often I find they have in one way or another had a positive influence on my life or my character.

Perhaps finding the good in the bad is one way of allowing our anger to dissipate and make way for more productive emotions.

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