To be wronged

If you focus on the flowers, you'll scarcely notice the weeds. Bar Harbor, Maine, September 2007

If you focus on the flowers, you’ll scarcely notice the weeds.
Bar Harbor, Maine, September 2007

“To be wronged is nothing, unless you continue to remember it.”Confucius

Gardening teaches me many lessons.  I love the way nurturing the flowers and pulling the weeds can make such a difference in how beautiful a small spot of ground may be.  Left alone, the weeds can choke out the flowers in no time.  But if I carefully encourage the growth of what is pleasing, and eliminate the unwanted vegetation, the rewards are evident.

It does require maintenance, though.  The weeds are always there, ready to encroach on the beauty and consume the results of effort.  Fortunately, the incentive of enjoying the colorful blooms and foliage provides a steady diet of encouragement that keeps me going through times when the weeds seem to be winning.

It’s the same with our thoughts, only more so.  I don’t know anyone who has never been wronged by someone else, and most of the people I know have been wronged many times. Even friends and family can act thoughtlessly, and sometimes people can be deliberately cruel or hostile.  There’s not much we can do to prevent others from hurting us, but we can control how we react to it.

Have you ever known anyone who was perpetually angry or hurt at someone else?  The topics of their ruminations may vary, but it seems that they are continually distressed and venting about someone else’s misbehavior.   These complainers often have abundant reasons to be thankful, but they choose to focus their attention elsewhere; someone is always raining on their parade.

How do you feel when you are with someone who lets the weeds choke out their blossoms? Do you find yourself avoiding them?  I know I do.  Such people feed my own tendency to nurse grudges, and I don’t want to waste one minute of my life that way. Life is difficult enough without re-visiting some real or imaginary slight.  I’d rather nurture the joys that surround me and decorate each day.

It’s not easy to shift gears when we are feeling the fresh sting of deeds that were genuinely rude or unfair.  Just being aware of our own thought patterns is the first step.  It’s okay to feel hurt, but there are loving, encouraging people who will support you and help you turn your attention elsewhere.  You have important, joyful and beneficial ways to spend your time, and a great deal of happiness awaits you, if you encourage and nurture it.

Remember not to feed the weeds!

This post was first published seven years ago today. The original post, comments and photo are linked, along with two other related posts, below. These links to related posts, and their thumbnail photos, do not appear in the blog feed; they are only visible when viewing the individual posts by clicking on each one. I have no idea why, nor do I know how they choose the related posts. That’s just the way WordPress does things.

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