I am proud to be a relative of the late Rev. Adam Buddle, an 18th century botanist after whom the Buddleja (Buddleia) bush was named. When I chose a company name some years ago I used Buddleja for this reason, to both respect my heritage and enjoy the metaphor of a plant that attracted butterflies, which for me symbolize personal transformation.
When I started to tell people about using Buddleja as my brand back then, I was somewhat bemused to find that while many people liked it, others looked confused. Some were polite and said nothing, I was relieved when someone finally said “but that’s a weed!” At the time I sighed inwardly and felt for the poor man...clearly he couldn’t see what I could.
These days I have a little more wisdom and insight. You see, both perspectives are reasonable. There are some varieties of Buddleja that plant themselves in the most inconvenient spots, reproduce vigorously, and release poisons into the soil to kill off the opposition. These are the kind of Buddleja that you see along railway tracks, they can cause a real nuisance. On the other hand, there are some varieties of Buddleja that are beautiful garden plants that attracts butterflies and bees.
The way you think about things has a profound effect on your experience of life. The difference between a weed and a flower is, after all, a judgement. It seems to me nothing is all good or all bad, life just isn’t that black and white.
Humans are meaning making machines; we create meaning continually. It’s useful to be mindful of what meaning we are making of the things that happen, and what effect this meaning has on us. We all have a life story, the story of how we came to be where we are, and what life is like for us. If we can hold this story lightly and be open to other interpretations and perspectives life becomes not only more colourful, but also much easier to navigate.
So, who and what are the flowers and the weeds in your life? Why not look again, from different perspectives, and see what else you notice?