I didn't see it coming; I didn't even witness the battle.....but seventy-two hours after waging war on the weeds in my garden I discovered poison oak had been laying in wait to attack my skin. Apparently this plant was angry that I pulled it from the earth. It waged a secret attack that left me tearing crazily at my skin. It wasn't anything personal. I didn't mean to destroy this plant. I didn't know it was mixed in my weeds. If I'm going to be completely honest, I'll confess that had I known the plant was there, I WOULD have INTENTIONALLY and PURPOSEFULLY destroyed that sucker. 

     If we're going to give points to a battle I'll give this one to the plant- it got me good, head to toe. I don't think there is a body part this sucker didn't manage to touch. I was severely infected from my eyes to my toes. It was so bad that I was required to go to the doctor, take steroids, and soak frequently in the tub to get clean. Including the co-pay for the doctor, this was one pricey weed.  I'll have to say touche' to the poison oak, one point for you.  I hope we never meet again!

     Unfortunately, when walking through the garden today, a vine whips across the shin of my right leg and I grasp it with my left hand.....Oh No! Yep, you guessed it....Poison Oak!  But unlike my encounter with this weed lat week, today I'm armed with knowledge. I know what the poison oak looks like at this time of the year, and I know specifically where it touched my body. Additionally, I know how to combat this invisible intruder and the poisonous oil this dangerous oak dishes out.

     After carefully dropping the vine, I walk to the house and STRIP! Armed with an antidote called Tec-Nu I walk into the shower and continue my battle. If I had washed with Tec-Nu three weeks ago I wouldn't have suffered the wrath of this poisonous plant to start with. Better late than never... Sure, I have a new little rash but it's no where as severe as it could have been; I was prepared. 

     Life is full of surprises and frequently we are attacked by disease, disappointment and discouragement. Knowing how you react to each assault, and most importantly how to prevent future assaults, will prepare us to better handle the unforeseen circumstances in our lives. Take the time to strengthen your attitude by surrounding yourself with positive and supportive friends and loved ones. Strengthen your emotional heart with laughter, love and forgiveness. Forgive yourself for NOT knowing where the negativity may be hiding and arm yourself with a plan to treat yourself kindness. Charge into your endeavors without fear, yet if/when problems arise, have confidence in your ability to learn from your mistakes and you'll kick ass when confronted by similar circumstances again!

     Share your thoughts....thank you!

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