“One of the new things people began to find out in the last century was that thoughts—just mere thoughts—are as powerful as electric batteries—as good for one as sunlight is, or as bad for one as poison. To let a sad thought or a bad one get into your mind is as dangerous as letting a scarlet fever germ get into your body. If you let it stay there after it has got in you may never get over it as long as you live… surprising things can happen to any one who, when a disagreeable or discouraged thought comes into his mind, just has the sense to remember in time and push it out by putting in an agreeable determinedly courageous one. Two things cannot be in one place.
“Where you tend a rose, my lad, A thistle cannot grow.”
Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden is one of my all-time favorite books! It is such a great story and also has symbolic parallels that I love.
It shows the journey of such a beautiful transformation of both the main character, Mary Lennox, and the actual garden, which echoes her growth and change.
Mary finds herself in her uncle’s home, away from what she knew, and carries about in a rude and sour manner, disliking most things and people with which she comes into contact. As she gets to know the staff taking care of the house and the grounds, her demeanor begins to soften despite herself. She happens upon the key to the Secret Garden on the grounds and in unlocking this forbidden place, she also begins to unlock her health and happiness.
Her appetite grows stronger, and Mary begins to become more independent as she plays out in the fresh air. She builds a rapport with those around her and her curiosity brings her to meet a boy her age, Colin, her cousin. He is rather sickly, but with Mary’s influence, he also gains strength and the two of them begin to awaken the garden, along with Dickon, the brother of her maidservant.
Mary finally begins to blossom (pardon the pun) when she stops feeling sorry for herself and becomes interested in her new home and the Garden. Being influenced by the therapeutic nature of digging in the dirt and watching plants burst forth from the soil causes an awakening.
She then discovers her purpose – to help her cousin become well, first by just getting him out into the fresh air, and ultimately helping to free him from his wheelchair. By believing he could not get out of bed, let alone WALK, he confined himself to that fate. Sometimes, you need to decide to believe something even if that new reality isn’t yet part of your world.
You cannot dwell on things that hold you back and expect to move forward.
This concept is also echoed in the Bible, speaking of an inner struggle if you do not make a choice in who or what to worship.
Matthew 6:24 (World English Bible):
“No one can serve two masters, for either he
will hate the one and love the other; or else
he will be devoted to one and despise the
other. You can’t serve both God and Mammon.”
A person cannot pursue both material goods and spiritual well-being. The two goals are mutually exclusive. That is not to say you cannot be well-off financially and have nice things – but these things should not become something you worship and become obsessed with.
You serve one or the other. Your mind is filled with one or the other.
“…when a disagreeable or discouraged thought comes into his mind, just has the sense to remember in time and push it out by putting in an agreeable determinedly courageous one. Two things cannot be in one place.”
Fill your mind with nourishing thoughts and information.
You can decide and your entire world can change.
You can find that key buried deep for so many years, and unlock the potential you have within you today.
Discover your Secret Garden.