I'm reminiscing about the love and care with which Stan* does everything around the house and yard. For example, when he spread the wood chips around the Juniper tree beside the house, he carefully lifted each branch and placed the wood chips gently around the base. Next, he evenly and generously distributed the chips outward — with love and devotion — until the plant was completely surrounded.
I could sense the love and care Stan had for our plants while I was removing the wood chips — only after we realized the Juniper was fading more with each passing day. Something was very wrong.
Too bad the wood chips were toxic.
"Let's surround the plant with river stones, instead," I suggested to Stan, after reading the label on the bag: "Inhibits growth." With the same love that Stan once surrounded the plant with wood chips, I was now removing them.
Those chips were supposed to be for people who didn't want plants to grow in their yard. No kids or pets allowed near that stuff, either. I wondered how many other people made the same mistake we made by putting that horrid stuff around their plants, thinking it would keep the moisture in and contribute to the well-being of the plant.
Toxic beliefs are similar. My parents didn't know when they raised me that what they were teaching me was unhealthy to my well-being.
It took many years of therapy and self-examination before I concluded I needed to replace a whole lot of unhealthy beliefs with ones that would allow me to flourish, rather than wither.
Stan and I are happy to note that our Juniper is recovering nicely. I believe that healing from a toxic belief system is the same. It takes time, but it is possible.
* Not his real name.
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