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Spring is here. And with its arrival has come a new season of allergies, requiring a range of treatments from antihistamines to epinephrine.

I have found that I suffer from other allergies. For example, I'm allergic to drama, envy, negativity, discouragement, dishonesty, a lack of compassion, a lack of accountability, and other things. These traits--in myself or others--cause me discomfort and/or irritation, much like allergies with physical consequences. If I allow the discomfort or irritation  to remain untreated, the consequences may range from joystipation to stealing my joy. And anything that threatens my joy requires attention. So I use faith, hope, peace, courage, love, patience, honesty, compassion, encouragement, and gratitude, among other things, to address the discomfort. And when I'm successful, I find relief.

 
 
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Usually, when we see blooming flowers and plants we think their seeds were intentionally placed--especially in the yard or garden of someone's home. Of course, that's not always the case. We never know when the wind or some other means of transport has  caused an unwanted and/or destructive seed (in other words, a weed) to land among the chosen blooms. No one intentionally plants weeds, right? Well, since the definition of "weed" is subjective, one person's flower is another person's weed. For example, dandelions. Some people intentionally plant them, and don't mind that new dandelions will likely grow wherever the seeds are transported by the wind, someone blowing them, etc. But for those who don't like or want dandelions, the transport and growth of those seeds is a weed problem.

Much like the seeds of flowers and plants, we transport the seeds of our lives wherever we go. We carry seeds to our jobs, our communities, our families, as well as in our interactions with friends and strangers. We like to think we transport seeds of hope, growth, joy, love, peace, encouragement, support, compassion, etc. But, sometimes, the seeds we carry, while welcomed by some, are considered weeds by others. Maybe it's the way we transport the seeds, maybe there's history in the interactions, or our own pain, baggage, etc. is causing damage to our seeds. Or, maybe it's an issue with the recipients. Unless someone tells us, how can we know? I wish I knew the answer. We can't control how others respond to us. But we can do our best to ensure that the seeds of our lives are as healthy as possible. (I believe we can't give our best without working on our mess.) And, hopefully, the healthier our seeds, the less likely they'll be treated as weeds.

 
 
There's a school of thought that says what we mind (give attention to) in life is what matters to us. That if our minds are truly set to something--whether a goal, dream, relationship, etc.--we take actions consistent with nurturing it. If not, then it doesn't matter. If only life were that simple. I know it's possible to think about something or someone who matters yet not give it/them the necessary or proper attention. It's not always intentional. Sometimes, it's the result of inability, procrastination, shifting priorities, a lack of time, energy, or resources. But I want to get better at minding the people and things in my life that matter. Otherwise, it's possible to miss opportunities--including opportunities to lend a helping hand, to say I'm thinking of you, I love you, until we meet again, etc. And that matters.
 
 
When we're on a cell phone call and the call begins to sound unclear, or it seems the call has dropped, we sometimes assume we have a bad connection. Usually, once a clear connection is re-established, we question the source of the problem in case an adjustment by one of the parties can avoid a subsequent problem. There are times in life when we may feel inclined to deem a call, conversation, person, or situation a bad connection because the communication is difficult, or it's uncomfortable to acknowledge what we're seeing or hearing as it relates to us. When such situations arise, I want to be mindful to examine my role in the situation to ensure I'm not the source of the problem.