Friday, March 18, 2011

Choices and Climbing Vines

Last summer we grew honey dew, cantaloupe and watermelons in our garden beds. However, we didn’t realize how far reaching their climbing vines would be. We often found vines far away from the garden beds, climbing around other plants. It was hard to tell what vine belonged to what plant, what needed to be cut back and what needed more room to grow. In short, the vines had taken over!

How often do we let other things “take over” our lives? Just like the climbing vines, we don’t realize how far reaching and intertwining they are. And, to be honest, sometimes it’s just easier to let other things “take over” our lives. It frees us up from having to choose and think for ourselves.

For example, with the news and commentary about the news available 24 hours a day, how often do we just let the commentators do our thinking for us? Or how often do we just react to other people, what they say, what they do, instead of choosing our own actions, our own values? There are plenty of “climbing vines” out there and they can virtually take over our lives if we allow them to.

But we don’t have to let them take over our lives. We can choose to cut them back or better yet, to not let them take over in the first place. Instead of turning on the TV, we can choose to look inward, to determine what is important to us, what we value and then make decisions accordingly. We can choose to listen more to our spouse, to be the first to say something positive, to express appreciation instead of just reacting to them. Granted, this takes more effort and more personal accountability. But it’s also very liberating and empowering! Instead of letting the “climbing vines” take over our lives, we realize we are in charge and we see more clearly who we are and what a difference we can make!