Sunday, March 3, 2013

Feed the Flowers, Not the Weeds

Johnny Lingo.  This video is probably as old as I am, but I never tire of watching it.  Some viewings have been more humorous than others.  For instance, when I was a kid we had some Mormon missionaries bring the film over (and I mean actual film....this was before videos) to watch with our family.  They mistakenly brought a version of it that was in a foreign language.  But being resourceful, and knowing the whole film by heart anyway, they did voice-overs for us.  I still remember one of them proclaiming, "Mahana, you ugly!" and the rest of us laughing at his "acting skills".

Laughing aside, the pain of poor Mahana is something to which we can probably all relate.  Whether because of a bully or because of a voice within our own minds, we have all felt inferior at one time or another.  Maybe we start to believe those voices that try to drag us down.   Once we believe, we begin to act the part.  It becomes our identity.

But the love and hope of just one kind person can change all that, if we will let it.  Maybe it's a friend or family member who is encouraging and speaks words of hope and peace to us.  Maybe it comes not from this earthly realm at all but from a Heavenly Father who knows who we really are and loves us for it, no matter what.

Whatever the source, if we will nurture that idea and that love it will begin to grow in us like a beautiful flower.  At the same time, we must pull out the negative thoughts that have taken up residence in our minds.  And over time, the blossom will crowd out the noxious weeds of self-criticism and doubt that we have fed for so long.  Of course, we must then pluck out any weeds that will inevitably appear here and there before they take root.  We must tend to the flower and give it all the nourishment it needs.

But how?

Although all plants need water and light, they each have specific nutrient needs that foster the best possible growth and health of the plant.  And so it is with us.  Daily sincere prayer and daily scripture study are our light and water.  What we need after that may differ from person to person.  Maybe we need to use a kinder inner voice with ourselves.  Maybe we need to limit certain influences in our lives.  Maybe we need to serve others more.  All these things, and many more, will allow the beautiful flower within us to grow bigger, stronger, and more beautiful.  But we must be the constant gardener of our own thoughts if we are to make this happen.

So, my fellow constant gardeners,...

photo from Microsoft Office Clipart
photo embellishment done through picmonkey.com


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