Life's Seasons Speaks

Might be a Wasteland... but it's MY Wasteland

April 26, 2023 Tina Episode 117
Life's Seasons Speaks
Might be a Wasteland... but it's MY Wasteland
Show Notes Transcript

Might be a Wasteland... but it's MY Wasteland

What exactly is a wasteland?  Today we look at the definition and pull it apart to understand how and why we sometimes find ourselves in one.

We also discuss what to do when we look around and see that that's where we are.  The answer might surprise you!


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Do you know what a wasteland is?  I mean of course you do, generally speaking.  But the actual meaning when I looked it up seemed important.  Like the individual words used to describe the term… interesting.  Very intriguing to me.

Oxford Languages explains the word “wasteland” as an “unused area of land that has become barren or overgrown”.

And I think the words that jumped out for me, are probably the same ones that stuck out for you too.  Let’s see.  The first word, and these aren’t necessarily in order of importance… was UNUSED.

So first, we know that a wasteland is an area that is vacant, or idle, or inactive, or empty.  


And what exactly is it that is vacant, or idle, or inactive, or empty?

Well, the definition says area of land.  And when I looker closer at what an area of land is, I find that it is an area of ground, used for a specific purpose.

So, so far we know that a wasteland is an area of ground, that is to be used for a specific purpose… BUT it is unused and is now barren or overgrown.

Stay with me, we’re getting there.  We need to look at barren next.

Barren, in this context, is when the land or the ground is too poor to produce much or any vegetation.

Ok.  BUT, wasteland, by characterization, could also be recognized by being overgrown.  Which, again, looking at land, means to be covered by plants that have been allowed to grow wild – too large or beyond their normal size.

So, we can’t just hear the word wasteland and picture the same image in our mind.  Because it may be a dry, dirty, flat piece of land that goes on for miles, meeting the horizon with nothing but cracks in the soil and dust in the wind.

Or, it may be even just a fenced yard, but with winding vines climbing and choking wild vegetation, fighting for space in a jungle of weeds.  

Either way, I think many if not all of us have had seasons where we felt like we were in a wasteland.  When morning after morning, we woke up and opened our eyes and all we could see is the image of what your wasteland is when you picture it in in your mind.

And it may have been a season of being barren.  When it seemed like nothing good would or could be produced and of use in your life.  Your land longed for the rain, the right soil, and seeds from somewhere.  But there was not a cloud in the sky, and the soil was rock hard, and seeds?  Ya.  Nothing to grow - because nothing to plant.

Or… maybe it was overgrown.  And you are overwhelmed just thinking of that season, where there was so much going on.  So much to handle.  Too much to handle.  It felt like your pressures and responsibilities and challenges were out of hand, out of control and wrapping all around you.  You couldn’t even make a move to escape.  Survival was the only option.  And it was hard work.

Or maybe you find yourself there now.  One way or another.  Either choking on dust or being choked out by wild weeds… this land is feeling like nothing you can manage well.  It’s certainly not feeling like it has any real purpose.

It’s important to know which image you picture when you relate to a season in the wasteland.

Particularly important that YOU know what that picture is for you when you go there in your mind.  It’s important that you have the context clear to yourself.  Don’t leave that up to someone’s understanding.

We are talking about your story here.  This is about your experience.  Not someone else’s perception of it.  You need to know what it is that you’re really grappling with.

When other people step into your story, with their thoughts and feelings on the image they have in their mind, they can misdiagnose who you are and what you’re going through.  And they can make false assumptions, based on their perceptions of their images, on your life.

And I mean something like this… Your wasteland is barren and dry and producing nothing, in the season you find yourself in.

That is not laziness, as some may assume.  That is not failure as some may see it.  That is not incapable, powerless, or incompetent, as some may believe.

It is as we learned by definition… too poor to produce.  It is being in lack of what is sufficient enough to yield or supply or just require.

It could be lack of confidence, lack of opportunity, lack of availability, lack of direction or guidance or support.

And it’s so important that you understand the image of your experience, so that no one, not even you, can call a lack of something you need, a deficit in character or ability.  Those are not the same things.

You need to know that if your picture is land that is wild and overgrown, that does not mean irresponsible, unorganized, incapable, or just a hot mess.

We know there are seasons when it seems that everything came at once.  That it didn’t rain.  It poured.  And the ground could not soak it all up fast enough.  It flooded.  And when the waters rescinded, that wasn’t relief.  That was just when we could see the mess left behind.  We see that all it did was water what was already there and out of control.  And it grew.  In the mud.

So much of what comes our way in life, is not by choice, and not by our own doing or fault.  It’s life.  It hits and it hits hard.

It makes a “barren” wasteland sound kind of peaceful.

But at the same time, those in the barren place, feel like an overgrown wasteland would at least be something.  It would feel like at least something in life was happening.

But in all honesty, both places have you feeling like you are just merely trying to survive the season, hoping for it to pass soon.

Maybe your wasteland is connected to a memory of a certain time and place in your life.

You think of that house you lived in when you were that age.  And it takes you back in thoughts and feelings.  Your brain makes pictures and runs videos in your mind of events.  And your body at the same time remembers.  You feel your heart race, or your muscles tighten.  Your lungs start pumping and you breathe a bit faster… or you notice yourself suck in and hold your breath for a time.

You know that was a time in a wasteland.  Nothing good was produced.  You had nothing.  No one.  At least no one who truly understood what you were going through.

Or it was a time that was so very overwhelming, just to think back to it now brings with it anxiety throughout your being.

Ya, it’s powerful isn’t it.  The body took in that time of your life and locked the experience in you through the sensations it experienced at the time.  Your five senses took in information and stored it in memory.  And your body remembers as you stroll memory lane.

And again, that lane may be cracked dry soil, or something you are ripping your way through, pulling weeds apart as you go.

But again, we can’t link that to a failure or deficit in character or lack of who you were or are.  It was merely a lack of what you needed… or an overload of a lot you didn’t deserve.

It wasn’t a sign of having no purpose, then or now, but just an interruption or disruption on your purpose.

It was a time.  A season.  Or if it’s current, know that this is a time, a season, but not a whole life in one image.

Purpose and planting and producing and pruning and weeding… those all take time.

You don’t get a crop because you thought of one.  You don’t get a well-manicured yard because you saw one in a magazine.

There will be time needed in between the changing seasons for this to happen.  Time, and effort, and lots of patience.

And like we said.  It is not a whole life.  It is a season that we find ourselves in, when barren or overgrown.

But for some reason, they stick out to us more than the seasons where life was good.  When we had enough, produced enough, or was able to keep up to what was growing.

We’ve gotten to a place in life when the good days are taken for granted, and the bad days get the spotlight.

The good days are set to silent, and the bad days have the ringer volume on high.

And a number of good days in a row seem almost mundane… while a number of bad days in a row are wastelands that we can’t see our way out of.

But if we could be honest, we would have to say, both are just as visible.  If we could learn to picture the image of the good days too.  

And it’s not so we can learn to think positive, especially when all around us feels negative.

It’s so we can remember.

It’s so we can take trips down memory lane where the lane is beautiful, and the path is level, and it is lined with lush grass and gorgeous flowers.

It’s for contrast.  Comparison.

It’s to know that I only know what bad feels like because I know what good feels like and it’s the difference between them that teaches me so much.

It’s how I know that I can go through really hard things, AND still have a good life.  I can be in a tough season but know there are other seasons coming.  Because I’ve been in and through them before.

The seasons will keep changing.  That is the good news and the bad news.

My circumstances will keep changing.  That is the good news and the bad news.

It all depends on the season you are in.

Enjoy fabulous days.  The bad news is that they will not always be fabulous.

But hang on persevere when it feels like you don’t have what you need, or you have more than you can handle.  Because the good news is that they will not always be like that either.

But it is not and can not just be about celebrating the good and enduring the hard.

There is a whole season when we dig in with grit and stubbornness.  It is a season of knowing you are in the wasteland, but you’re settled with it either.

And that doesn’t mean you aren’t patient in the seasons, seeing it for what it is and knowing it will change.

It just means that you don’t forget who you are while you are there.

It’s when you stand and look around.  You take inventory and say:

This may be a barren land… this may be an overgrown land… but this is MY land.

This is my property.  This is my territory, and I am taking it back.

I know the environment tried to erode my soil.  I know the weeds tried to overtake my space, but this is my land.  

I’ll till if I have to.  I’ll dig and I’ll pull, and I’ll cultivate, and I’ll plough.  I’ll clear the land.  I’ll work the land.  I’ll do whatever I have to in this season because this is not where I lose my land.

I’m gonna hold it down.  There are enemies and prowlers after my land.  They can’t have it.

There are thieves after my land.  They can’t have it.

I’ve been through too much to give up my land.  I’ve made it through too far, to give up my land.  I’ve worked to hard to give up my land.

I’m not giving up anything.  This is mine.  And if it doesn’t look like anything great right now… just you wait.

This is just a seasons.  You don’t know what’s coming.

I don’t know what’s coming.

But the good news and the bad news is that something else is always coming.  If it seems bad now, then it’s good news right now that something else is coming.

In the meantime, you can’t have what’s mine.

Cause you ain’t getting the credit when this is beautiful and productive again.

That’s mine too.

This wasteland is not my punishment.  It’s my preparation.

On the other side of this season, I know there is nothing I can’t handle.

Lack will not destroy me.  It already tried.

Overwhelm will not destroy me.  It already tried.

Not only do I survive, but I come out with more land and territory than I started with.

The more I learn to take care of, the more I gain to take care of.  And I can take care of it too.  I know I can.  Cause I have.

And I will – every time a hard season returns.  I’ll remember who I am, who’s land it is and what I refuse to lose.

Sometimes I enjoy the land and sometimes I work the land, but either way… that land is mine.

Know that whether you are enjoying your land or working your land right now, it’s still yours.  And you are exactly the rightful owner of it.

Until next time, I love you.  Take care.  This is Tina saying good-by for now and we will speak again soon.