A Rose Between Two Thorns


My week seemed to be filled with roses and thorns and depending on which one I focused on - the outcome shifted. 


  • Following my heart and pursuing my vision has it’s moments of sheer joy where I recognize that I am on a journey to something far beyond me.  It's easy to focus on those moments. They are fun to write about and exciting to share.  However, there is another side to following my heart that isn’t as pretty.  The side, when what I thought would occur doesn’t.  Those moments I wonder if following my heart and pursuing my vision is worth it.   


That has been my husband, and I’s current reality for the last few weeks.  When we began this journey several years ago, we imagined we would move to California and within six months find a house to buy and settle into life as we knew it in a prettier more beautiful place than before. However, it hasn’t turned out that way.  After two years of renting, we have signed another year lease.  Renting for three years wasn’t our plan, nor was moving for the third time in two years.  With circumstances out of our control, we find ourselves surrounded with a lot of opportunities to choose joy or the roses in the midst of the thorns.  I am learning that in moments like these, that choice is easier said than done.

As the week’s events wore on and we found ourselves in the midst of the challenges of moving, my way of being began shifting to irritable, short, and grippy.  I didn’t like my circumstances.  I wanted things to be the way I wanted them to be, and they weren’t.  I found myself frustrate with:

    *packing up all of our belongs
    *cutting my wardrobe in half to fit in my new much smaller closet
    *pricing everything for a garage sale
    *figuring out the organization for where everything would go in the new house

I just wanted to be settled in and loving life again.  My lowest moment was on Friday morning when our garage sale began.  After eight customers I had made $5.  I began moping around.  I was on the verge of tears as I thought about the hours of work I had put into this garage sale and what if no one came. What if I made less than $100?  The thoughts that began to run through my mind were a bit scary.

    *”this sucks.”
    *”nothing is going right.”
    *”things never seem to go well for me.”
    *”my life sucks.”

The thoughts were spiraling downward and getting worse along the way. I became aware enough to recognize the death that was flowing through my mind.  I realized I was starting to entertain those thoughts as potentially true.  I knew that if I chose to believe them, I would start acting upon them and create them as my reality, and I didn’t want that.  

At that moment, a client that I had been trying to connect with for weeks contacted me.  She has been pursuing her vision with a lot of passion and clarity and in the last month, many incredible doors have opened up for her.  As she shared one amazing success after another, the thoughts began to press in again and tell me that she has something I don’t and that something was wrong with me.  At that moment, I said to myself, “no she doesn’t have something I don’t and no, there is nothing wrong with me.”  She has been choosing this journey she is on, and so can I.

As soon as I told the thoughts, they were not true and that I get to choose the life I want, my way of being shifted from dreading to hear her next exciting story to celebrating what she had to share.  I allowed myself to be encouraged by her success, and my joy, hope, and faith began returning.  I was so excited for her and all that was to come.  I was excited for myself because I knew that I have the same opportunity to choose my future.

It isn’t by chance that as I walked out the door from hanging up the phone with my friend that I was greeted by a new customer coming to talk with me about some of the furniture I had for sale at the garage sale.  An hour later we had packed up her vehicle with over $800 worth of items.  That made all the work of the garage sale completely worth it.  She kept telling me how nice and fun I was to work with.  I knew that had I not shifted during the phone call with my client; that isn’t what she would have experienced with me and very potentially that would have reduced what she decided to purchase.  My choice to shift had opened up new possibilities that I could have easily shut down 15 minutes earlier.

As I pondered the events that had occurred, I thought about a rose.  I realized a rose can’t be a rose without its’ thorns.  My life will have thorny moments.  It is my choice whether I focus on the roses or the thorns.  Through the events of this week, I see that when I choose to focus on the things I didn’t like or the thorns, that is all I can see and I produce more thorns.  However, when I focused on the positive things or the roses, I barely notice the thorns.  The roses begin to flourish and reproduce more roses or positive things.  I continue to learn that I will reap what I sow in my thought life.  

Do you find yourself experiencing thorns right now?  

Let me encourage you that you aren’t bad, broken, or wrong because the thorns are there.  As a friend recently shared, you aren’t responsible for your first thought, but you are responsible for your second one. Would you get curious about the thoughts and decide whether they are offering you roses or thorns?  

As you tend the garden of your heart and mind and choose what you want to focus on, would you share with us your experiences of the life that's produced?


Julia WoodsComment