The other day I got annoyed with my husband over something silly and small. Although I was aware of my overreaction, I allowed my feelings to brew. Pretty soon my minor annoyance grew into finding fault with everything he did. By the end of the day, I was finally willing to admit my wrong attitude and I apologized.
The incident got me thinking, though. How often are relationships destroyed due to a single attitude that we allow to take root and grow unchecked? How many relationships could be saved if we released our sense of entitlement and instead acknowledged our part in the problem? It can be hard to anticipate the end result of one small action, but I hope what follows is a reminder to all that even the smallest of actions can have consequences far greater than we ever imagine.
I planted a seed.
It was a little seed.
I turned it over in my hands. Rubbed it’s hard, smooth surface between my fingers. Allowed it’s coolness to sink into my skin.
For the briefest of moments, I considered throwing it away, but instead I planted it. Right in the soft soil of my heart.
A seed of irritation.
I could have left it alone there. No sun. No water. Just a dormant seed, unable to grow.
But I didn’t.
I sprinkled it with indignation. I let warm rays of displeasure penetrate the soft soil of my heart. And it sprouted.
It was a little plant.
I reached out to it. Caressed the soft leaves branching off it’s thin stem.
For the briefest of moments, I considered plucking it out of the hardening soil of my heart, but instead I left it in place. Certainly something so small could do no harm.
A little plant of self-entitlement.
I poured out a flood of resentment on it. I let hot rays of anger pound down upon it.
And it grew.
It was a weed.
I stared at it. Startled by how quickly it had grown. How strong it had become.
For the briefest of moments, I remembered what my heart was like before it took root. Before it was planted. Before it became:
A weed of hatred.
I grabbed hold of the weed and pulled, feeling every tug. It resisted. The roots were deep and strong.
I pulled harder. A piece gave way. The broken stem clung to my hand, reminding me of the investment I had placed in it’s growth. It would not leave as easily as it had come.
Desperate now, I clawed at it’s base. Yanked with all my strength. The rock hard soil began to crumble. I cried out in pain, but continued to pull.
Slowly, finally, it gave way. I fell back, exhausted. The weed lay beside me; its long, dirty roots exposed, ugly.
And where my heart had been, a large, gaping hole.
I struggled to my feet. Spent. Hurt. Alone. With only one thing left to do:
Attempt to repair the damage.
Pure Grace Farms says
Great post Lauren, filled with truth. I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve let that little seed grow and nurtured it for far too long. Self entitlement is so destructive. I am learning that the only things I truly need are the blessings I receive from God. It has been a the difficult road that has brought me to my knees, but so grateful for the lessons learned.
Thank you Shari! You are absolutely right. The older I get, the more aware and ashamed I am of my selfishness. It may be human nature, but it doesn’t mean I have to just give in to it!
Jennifer-Mommy Life After PhD says
Beautiful post, and so very true–especially when it comes to our relationships with others. It’s so easy to harden our hearts. Thanks for this reminder!
Tammy @ creativekkids says
Great, thoughtful post. I’m pinning it to my Thoughtful Thursday’s board. I found this post through My Life Abundant’s facebook share day.
Thanks so much Tammy!
I am currently tending to the weeds I have planted. Not just tending, cultivating. I am not proud of it. How do you not look at that tally board and measure? How much he gave, how much I gave, who came out on top, who needs to do more tomorrow … Like I said, I’m not proud and I’m trying to stop doing just that.
Thanks for keeping our eyes open. Time to go do some weeding, I guess.
You’re so right; it’s really really hard! I think what we have to do (and I say this not at all as someone who is a pro, but as someone who has tried it once or twice and completely sucked at it) is make a conscious decision to do what’s best for the other person regardless of what they do or say or if it gets noticed or reciprocated. Clearly easier said then done. I’m a work in progress. Slow progress 😉
Megan Walker says
I had to learn the danger of planting that little seed the hard way. My when my husband Jared is on the road to becoming a doctor, and it is a LONG HARD road. When we first got married, he was in medical school. I expected our lives to be so different once we got married. I thought we would spend so much time together and start building our lives. Instead, he had to study a lot and we lived in a college apartment for three years.
I became so angry and bitter at him, because he was supposed to help me achieve my dreams, not crush them under the weight of his responsibilities. Once I saw how damaging my bitterness was to my marriage, I immediately decided I needed a different perspective. I still struggle with the bitterness sometimes, but no more seed planting here!
Amen to this! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve let a little “nothing” fester into a huge SOMETHING. It’s no fun, and no one ever wins…but it still happens.
Thank you for sharing you insight. Great post.
Thanks for linking up at Wordy Wednesday!
Anna @ The Beauty Section says
You write so beautifully! Thank you for such a great post that will definitely leave an impact on me!
Thank you so much Anna! I think it’s a reminder we can all use from time to time.
Dianna @ The Kennedy Adventures says
I needed to read this today, as I’m ‘simmering’ over being irriatated by something my husband said.
Thank you for sharing these wise words over at The Thoughtful Spot!
I’m glad it was timely for you!
This is such a beautifully honest post… and so incredibly true! <3
Thank you Caroline!
Jenna @ A Savory Feast says
I needed to hear this! Thanks for the reminder. I’m so glad you shared this with Hump Day Happenings.
Joey Lynn Resciniti (@BTaC_blog) says
Such a true metaphor! I consciously stopped myself today from letting a little irritation toward an acquaintance of mine take hold of me. Sometimes it just helps to stop and remind yourself that maybe the other person didn’t mean it THAT way.
So true! I think I often make mountains out of mole hills in my mind!