As I walked our dogs this morning, I noticed some bright red berries peering out from a mass of twisted, thorny growth. Bittersweet vines grow throughout our property. This invasive climbing plant winds itself around trees and shrubs, and chokes anything in its path.
Sometimes the stress of life is like these tangled vines. With a seemingly never-ending list of tasks to be completed in a limited amount of time, it can feel as if you’re slowly being strangled by an encircling vine. Staring at the villainous plant, I felt the pull of my own burdens grabbing tightly. The world felt heavy, and my heart sank.
Suddenly, the sight of the berries reminded me I had a choice.
Years ago, a friend asked to take a few clippings of these plants to use as seasonal decorations. I was glad to see them go, and she was delighted to have them. When she looked at the plants, she saw beauty and potential. They brought her joy. I saw an irritating weed. It’s all a matter of perspective.
Life is challenging. We are so stressed by the vines in our lives that we become blind to the beauty of the berries that surround us and miss their blessing. My encouragement to you is to shift your focus. Look for the berries among the thorns. There is always something to praise. Sometimes we just need to remove the blinders from our eyes and cast our gaze elsewhere. You may not feel the thorns of life as much if you focus more on the berries.