We had the same plant growing in every flower bed in our yard. The previous owners of our home apparently liked this plant. Even though it’s a pretty plant with either pink or purple petunia-like flowers that bloom each day, it’s incredibly invasive. It grows thick and tall, choking out or dwarfing the other plants in the bed.
So Danielle and I decided to remove most of the plants. I took a sharpshooter shovel and started digging in a flower bed in the front of the house. I quickly learned that the plant’s roots were tubular traveling underground with many plants growing from each cluster of roots.
We moved to the backyard flower beds, and we decided for the easier, quicker method—cut the plants off at ground level. We just wanted the flower beds to look better.
Both methods worked and the flower beds looked neat and uncluttered. For a few weeks anyway. Then it began to rain. And rain. One day I looked into the backyard and guess what I saw. The plants were growing again like crazy. I think they were growing back even thicker.
The flower beds in the front where I dug out the plants by the root? Only a few had poked back up above the ground.
Even though it’s much harder work, we knew what we needed to do. We needed to dig these guys out by their roots if we wanted to get them out of our flower beds.
I don’t think the previous owners had a devious plan for this plant to take over the entire yard, and maybe because it is a nice looking plant, they couldn’t bear to get rid of any of them.
In life, we do the same thing. We either intentionally bring something into our life, or we ignorantly allow it in. Many times it looks nice, and we enjoy it for a while.
We might not even notice how it begins to take over, if we ever do. It might even take another person to point out to us how something is dominating our thoughts and actions possibly choking out other important things.
If we decide it’s time to do something about it, we often approach it like we did at first with the plants in our yard—we only cut back on it. We don’t remove it completely from our lives. We don’t want that. We just want to manage it.
Do you know or think you have something in your life like this? Or has someone told you that you do, but you keep blowing them off?
Maybe it is time to do the hard work of digging it out by its roots. Usually the hardest thing to do is get started when you know the work can be hard. Here is a secret—it’s not always as hard as you think it is.
Here are 4 things to do to get started on the work of digging out of your life that needs to be removed by its roots:
- Stop ignoring it. Pretending that it doesn’t exist or that it’s not that bad will only delay the hard work. The first thing we have to do is take an honest look at what it is that is taking over and possibly ruining our life.
- Don’t settle for the easy way out. If this habit, relationship, addiction—whatever it is—really is taking over your life, then it will take doing some hard work of digging it out by its roots. You need to do what it takes to remove it from your life.
- Understand it will take time. Both when I do work like digging out plants in the flower beds and making needed changes, I always wish I could get the work done in one big effort—I prefer all in one day! However, usually work like this takes time; sometimes getting a little done each day over many days is best.
- Allow others to help. Allowing others to help can take many forms. It begins with vulnerable, authentic sharing with a trusted person(s). This might be a spouse, a close friend, or a counselor.
If you know you have some work to do, I hope this encourages you to not put it off or try to short cut the work. It takes a courageous person to do the hard work of digging out things that need removed from our life by its roots.
Email me if you want to talk further about what you are facing and want some encouragement to get started on it today.
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