“Dandelions don’t know whether they are a weed or a brilliance. But each seed can create a field of dandelions…We are invited to be that prolific.” – Adrienne Maree Brown
The plants that we often refer to as weeds are also known as pioneer plants. They are the hardy plants that pave the way towards healing in an area of earth that has been traumatized and wounded. We often see these in our yards and in the cracks of our sidewalks, because in all reality, that is not the way that the earth wants to function.
Weeds, though we may see them as annoying, serve as a reminder that what we like (our pretty landscaped yards, paved driveways, and sidewalks) may not be what is really healthy and healing for the bigger “us” – the earth and world we rest on.
Why does this matter and how does it relate to mental health?
Well, in many ways.
Much like a dandelion, we hold more potential, strength, and capability in our bodies than we may acknowledge or believe. Just as the dandelion blooms and grows and changes into its new puff-ball self, and then waits patiently for a breeze to help it take its next steps – our process of healing and growing may not be straightforward. It might look brilliant and easy for a while, then become difficult, and then perhaps seem to stagnate and annoyingly refuse to budge. Perhaps, the whole time, the ups and downs and all, we were growing towards something – even in the waiting times.
Or maybe like the resilient weed we are a pioneer – paving the way for change and healing in our own lives and in our communities. When met with opposition or hardships, we have the heart and strength to continue forward.
And maybe, like the misunderstood weed, our body and emotions tell us important things about what we need as we are healing and growing. Those things might not always feel good, be easy, or make sense in the moment – but when we attend to them and listen to them, we might be able to heal in new and incredible ways over time.
Or perhaps like the annoying but incredible weeds – we can be more than one thing. Maybe we can be nervous but also sure of our strengths. We can be unkind but also incredibly loving. We can struggle but also survive. Two things can exist at once within us – we can know this and be reassured.
The dandelion weed reminds us that we are invited to be prolific, to be a pioneer, to be resilient, to break down paths and form new ones. You can be many things at once and that’s beautiful.