Taming the Soul

Taming the Bushes in the Garden is a lot like Taming the Soul:

I am a rather emotional person. Strong emotions ooze out of me, whether I intend them to or not. When I get angry, I cry; when I have hurt feelings, I explode; when I’m frustrated I shout… that sort of thing. One particular cause for explosion is if I physically hurt myself – for example if I bang my head, I shout and cry. I try to have more self-control, and I pray for an increase in self-control, but it is an uphill battle.

On the positive side, I express delight and excitement rather ‘effervescently’ too, so at least I’m consistent when it comes to self-expression.

For those living In the Northern Hemisphere, Spring is upon us. For some that will mean there’s a lot of work in the garden that needs to be undertaken. Some find it a pleasant experience. I’ve learned that, although I’m not a keen gardener, the experience of gardening is really good for me. Less than a decade ago we bought our first place with a big garden. The house had been empty for some time so the overgrowth was extreme, at least to my inexperienced person. But when I pulled, clipped, and pulled some more, I imagined how Adam and Eve felt taming the earth. I know that Eden must have been perfect without their weeding, but after The Fall, they had to clear by the sweat of the brow, so gardening must have changed considerably. As I gardened, I think what I found unexpectedly invigorating was the satisfaction I felt, not only from looking at the result of my efforts but also from the experience itself. I felt like I was purging myself of pent-up frustration, anger and any other passionate irrational feeling that wanted to take charge of my mind.

I learned that taming a garden is a lot like taming my mind… when I’m really frustrated and a plant won’t cooperate, I can pause, breath and pray… Then, calmer to deal with the situation, I can develop a strategy. To clip a vine or bush is easier than to pull it at the root. Likewise with my emotions. Clipping reduces the problem until I’m ready to deal with the root.

The root of an emotion is a thought – and dealing with our thoughts is a whole other matter which won’t be addressed in a few lines. But at least when  tension is eased through a  bit of emotional pruning, I am not overrun with the full force of feeling. I can think more clearly without emotion fluttering around, and I have a better chance at uprooting the pesky thought that robs me of peace.

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4 thoughts on “Taming the Soul

  1. I struggle much as you do. It is also a life long battle for me. Add to the emotionalism fear/worry, and it can get exciting. I like you idea of clipping as opposed to all out pulling up. I am curious, however, as to how you get yourself to take that breath.

  2. I find it’s a matter of choice for me – I can give into the temptation to follow my reaction and ‘get unstuck’ emotionally or I can listen to ‘the still small voice’ inside and let go, ignore my emotions. For me it’s been a journey of trial and error – sometimes I yield, sometimes I don’t. But the more I practice surrendering to the Holy Spirit who resides within me, the more often I enjoy peace and the sense that I’ve triumphed over feelings that really don’t matter!. That sense of achievement spurs me onto get on top of frustration the next time it comes along.
    So glad to hear from you Marmielu. Welcome!

    • Thanks, Sarah. This is a good reminder that I need to spend more time in prayer abou this, instead of waiting until the moment arrives. Sort of like preventive care. 🙂

      • How wise you are! Yes, to occupy time in prayer when we don’t feel we ‘need’ it prepares us for unforeseen crises, doesn’t it! Praise God He meets us wherever we are!

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