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Video: Cultivate the garden of the soul and the fruit you desire will emerge

emotional healing health + healing perspective video Jun 20, 2017

I worked in a rehab /re-entry / restoration center for about 7 years. Actually, 8 years- if you count my year-stint working under a grant program at the other one.

One thing I noticed is this: the boomerang. A lot of people walked through the front doors of our ministry center to receive help, they got it, and then they went back to the same lifestyle they were living before. Some of them did this multiple times.

In fact, once you get in "rehab circles," it's not odd to meet someone who's been in and out of all of them in a single city. You read that right. They've done this 90-day program, that 6-month one, that 30-day treatment, that 45-day...

In just a few years, they've received more help from more people than most people ever thought possible... yet nothing has changed.

It's almost like it doesn't matter how much the external circumstances change ("If I can just go to the place... or if I can just get that ____________... or if someone will just do _____________ for me, then I can.....") nothing inside changes... there's an internal pull back to the old life...

(Don't get me wrong- we saw some amazing results as we learned more about the subject of this post, healing from the inside out- not the outside in.)


Make it real- we’re all getting over something

OK. It's easy to poo-poo on the "down and out," right? Drug addicts. Street people. After all, they "deserve it" (we think).

Here's the truth, though: we often do the exact same thing- we just do it with more manageable, less noticeable "fruits." But look at the pic below.

Notice that the "issues" we all typically face- in one degree or another- are bad fruits. However, the fruit you see on the outside is really an overflow of what's happening- that you don't see- on the inside.


In the same what that you can pull all of the apples from an apple tree and then expect to see a fresh harvest of apples the next season, you can pluck all of the "fruit" from someone that you want to pick. In time, just like those apples... that same fruit will return.

* That same fruit will return if it's good fruit, and

* That same fruit will return if it's bad fruit.

The harvest is predictable. And, it's predictable with virtually 100% accuracy. 

How so? Well, Jesus talks about it in the New Testament...

Matthew 7:17 quotes Him teaching, “Every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.”

And, in Matthew 7:18 he says, “A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.”

In other words, the fruit of your life is not the core thing that we often make it to be. The fruit simply is a by-product of the internal root system. Yes, the fruit may define you (it's the external identifier that people see, it's visible), but the fruit emerges from deep within. 

Here's where it get confusing-

* Though that fruit is what others most readily see, if you're looking for a change, it's not the place to begin. And

* Although the fruit is often a goal for us (business success, a health goal, financial provision, etc.), it's NOT the place to begin... 

You have to start deep inside... 

Yes, you may find an occasional piece of good fruit on a bad tree- just like you’ll find a rotten piece of fruit even on the best of trees. However, it’s impossible for a diseased tree to produce a harvest of great produce. 

When you see good fruit, you know that there's a healthy root system. Notice the difference between the previous picture of the diseased tree and the one featured below. Here, we see great fruit. But, the fruit is a symptom of the root. 


It is too much of a bad thing or not enough of a good thing?

Good roots CREATE good fruit; bad roots actually CAUSE bad fruit. That is, there’s always something creeping under the surface, lurking beneath the ground, causing whatever we see above. The unseen quickly becomes visible- no matter how much we try to hide it. 

You see… to change the fruit, you've got to change the root.

During The Healing Workshop, I teach people that there are two core causes of all physical disease: 

1. Toxins- having something in your body that should NOT be there (i.e., stress, sugar, etc.)

2. Deficiencies- not having something in your body that SHOULD be present (i.e., not enough nutrients, not enough rest, not enough water, etc.).

Here's the chart I use, straight from the slide-deck of that workshop- 

The same dynamic that works in your physical body actually works in your soul, too. In fact, you can spot this same trend in all of life. Bad fruit is always the result of too many toxins (the presence of things that should not be here) OR deficiencies (a lack of great stuff that you really need).

Notice the roots in the pictures of the trees above. If you have bad fruit... 

You'll see toxins like

* Shame

* Isolation (loneliness, no relationships)

* Guilt / condemnation 

* Bitterness / unforgiveness

* Confusion 

Or, you may could compare these to deficiencies (notice the healthy tree)

* A lack of love / acceptance

* A deficiency of peace

* A lack of identity

To change the fruit, you've got to change the root. And to change the root we've got to create the environment where good roots can flourish. 


Let's get practical: name the bad fruit

Look back at the pic here. Notice the roots. Let's talk through a few real-world examples.


If you're consistently "blowing up" the relationships closest to you- it's probably not their fault, and it's probably not even a relational issue. It's probably the result of an underlying root.

Perhaps there's a root of bitterness / unforgiveness in a past relationship- and it's becoming a grid whereby you interpret all present and future interactions. Unless that bad root is replaced with a good root of forgiveness, the relational time-bombs will continue ticking... and blowing up...

Perhaps it's a root of lack of identity. You might not know who you are, so you look for your value as a human in other people. When they let you down (which they will do- after all, they're only human!), you throw in the towel, thinking they never really cared for you- or that it was all about them. Trouble is, it wasn't- it was all about you (you were seeking your value from them, from an external). 

Do you see how this works?

Maybe another example...

Let's say nothing is working out for you- self-sabotage is the fruit you see. Different roots could be driving the self-sabotage. 

Perhaps there's a root of guilt and shame- and you don't feel worthy of success and abundance. 

Or there could be a lack of value, a sense of feeling unworthy of blessing- so you keep hitting the control-alt-delete button on life and re-starting things just as they get going...

On the other hand, when we get the roots right (by replacing the old ones with new, healthy ones!), amazing fruit is able to grow- and to sustain.


Look in the mirror

Here's what this means, to me. The fruit you see in your life is a result of the environment you're creating. 

If you're (like I was for over a decade!) stuck in a pattern where you can't lose weight (no matter how much you exercise), there may be a root somewhere that needs to be changed. Look beneath the surface. See what is driving the extra eating, the craving for destructive foods, the lack of drive to walk in the freedom of health. 

If you find yourself moving from relational rift to relational rift (I've done that, too), there may be a bad root. Sure, others always bring their baggage to relationships, but we forget that we bring ours, too. Though we can’t control their past (or even how they respond to us in the present), we CAN decide to set our bags down. We can deal with our side of the issue.

If you find yourself constantly comparing yourself to others (yeah, me too!) rather than patiently walking the amazing destiny God has created specifically for you... it may be a root...

When we deal with the bad roots and begin changing them- like we see in the pictures below- notice what happens... 


In time, as you change the root, and the right fruit comes. Again, the fruit that you see on the outside is really an overflow of what's happening- that you don't see- on the inside! 


This means this: you don’t create fruit with a “to do” list. You cultivate fruit by tending to your garden, by doing the great work of caring for the soul. That is, good fruit is not just a goal- it's the overflow of a healthy soul.


You might also like- 

The post on sowing and reaping (and the danger of "to do" lists)-  

(A word of caution: fruit doesn’t grow in an instant. We plant a seed… we cultivate it… seed sprouts… the roots begin growing… the plant begins making its way to the surface as a sapling… it matures… and, in time, the tree comes… So, don’t get discouraged… re-read the post on sowing and reaping… sow the right seeds and you’ll reap the right fruit!)


The post about creating the environment where you can flourish. Go here for more: 

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