“In creating a place of honor for every issue, and every experience, we create
a different form of power that is rooted in the whole truth of who we are.” 
~Ai-jen Poo

Some of you may be aware of (or are regularly visiting) our Practice Space where we offer a Daily Question to inspire grateful reflection. Each day we are moved by and learn from the responses that appear. The reflections are joyful, poignant, subtle, poetic, loving, generous, sophisticated, playful, vulnerable, and, of course, infused with gratefulness.

We offer the following selection of responses to one of our recent Daily Questions. May these reflections serve to open a doorway to gratefully loving the world and finding ways to live accordingly.

In the garden of life, what have the weeds taught me?

“In the garden of life, the weeds have taught me that suffering can lead to wisdom and that when things don’t go perfectly, we can appreciate the times when things have gone well and look forward to the future with the hope that things will go well again.”
– Hot Sauce

“To embrace what I find challenging most of the time, if not all the time. Weeds are blessings strengthening us, teaching us to be better and seeing our hearts as gardens of flowers and beauty.”
– Lee Anne

“There is a ground which nourishes everything.”
– Hermann-Josef

A cluster of bright green sprouts emerging from muddy ground

Photo by Chetan Kolte

“Quite a few years ago I arrived at the philosophy that if I like and appreciate who I am today then I have to accept that all the ‘weeds’ were part of making me this person. Each one has taught me something I’ve incorporated into how I approach life, how I treat other people, what I value. In the grand scheme of things even the weeds make oxygen we need to live.”
– Barb C.

“A lovely metaphor – the garden of life! Weeds continually teach me many things:

  • Be careful not to rip them out with force as they may pull the good plants with them. Be patient with my faults and nurture my virtues.
  • Some weeds die on their own in time and add to the soil. Sometimes the weeds of my life give me an opportunity to venture where others cannot so as to now spread the good.
  • Some weeds I just continuously need to work on because I cannot get the root out without hurting the other plants. So I work diligently to keep them in check. Not so fun, but they may not bother the garden if I keep them from choking out the light and nutrients. These are those annoying faults in my life that I just need to keep gently working with.
  • Once in a while, what I think is a weed is often an unexpected good plant whose seed has blown into my garden without my knowledge or planting, and it surprises me with its flowers or fruit.
  • But most importantly to me, weeds teach me to appreciate the good that grows, and the bounty that comes from the garden!”

– Cathie

“The weeds teach me tenacity and the possibility to flourish in the midst of some not-so-nurturing conditions.”
– Pilgrim

a cluster of yellow flowers bursting out from the cracks in a grey stone wall

Photo by Markus Spiske

“Weeds are not to be ignored and should be pulled when necessary. I think about this when I weed my own garden… some weeds run really deep and have this interesting system underground. It’s like any old wounds we might be carrying around. We can pull the surface away, but they will grow again unless we go deep to get the roots.”
– sunnypatti

“Weeds have taught me that life gets tough and I am stronger than I realize with each weed I’ve pulled.”
– CC

“Some weeds remind me not to neglect the beauty of the commonplace and wonder in the ordinary. If a dandelion were rare, we would marvel at it. That bright yellow bloom and amazing seed pod. Children know this wonder. Some weeds remind me to retain the wonder of childhood when my heart leapt up at the sight of a dandelion and I was drawn to them and chased after their delicate seeds dancing on the wind, when I held buttercups under my chin and collected clover blooms and tied them into bracelets and crowns. They weren’t ‘weeds’ to me then. They were marvels and mediums for creation, imagination, exploration. George Eliot said that we never could have loved the earth so well if we had no childhood in it. And I believe that’s true. The key is to somehow keep that connection alive as we grow older.

Some weeds also remind me to always look for the flower in the ditch, as it were. Flowers like chicory, mullein, and fleabanes that grow in the dry, dim, and dismal places, where it seems that nothing else would grow. There is beauty even there.”
– Nicki

a person holding and blowing on a white dandelion flower

Photo by Ivan Dostal

“Weeds taught me that I could grow in spite of their presence. They made me tougher, more resilient. At other times the weeds showed me where and how I could grow and flourish. By blocking off one path, they forced me into new directions that I wouldn’t have discovered otherwise.”
– Laura

“That the ‘weeds’ of life frequently have been just as beautiful and sometimes more reliable than the flowers I thought I had planted.”
– Kevin

“Well, if the ‘weed’ is something unwanted and unplanned for, I guess it has taught me to not be too set on my plans and expect challenges along the way. Weeds are irrepressible and wild, tough and tenacious. I think I identify more with the weeds than the pampered and tended plants. Yes, I think there is much to learn from the ‘weeds’.”
– Charlie T.

“I am human.”
– Carol

“That there is not a single difference concerning their being lovable just as they are. The difference with ‘not-weed’ might just be beauty less visible as to untrained eyes and heart, untrained like mine have been. Deeply grateful for the whole of creation and the ‘garden of life’ and for the one creating force of it all.”
– Ose

We offer our deepest thanks to all of you who shared your experience of learning from the “weeds” in the garden of life. If you would like to add a rich practice to your life, we invite you to visit our Practice Space to join the welcoming community who connect there each day.

And for you, what have the weeds in the garden of life taught you? We invite you to share your reflections below.

Community Reflections