Here is one metaphor given to me that I really like. The suggestion is that one thinks of one's heart as a garden. Imagine you want to build a beautiful garden to give joy to everyone who visits it. Once you have your site you must decide on what flowers, trees and other plants you want in your garden. You must cultivate the soil, shape the landscape and carefully tend your plants so that they thrive and blossom. At the same time you must eradicate various noxious weeds, the thorns and thistles that you maybe inherited when you took charge of the site. Almost certainly you will need help. Perhaps you will need a master gardener to explain which plants are good and beneficial to keep and which would be best removed. Maybe your master gardener will also advise you on what plants to put in and how to cultivate them. Some tasks are entirely too much for you, and your master gardener mentor may do these works for you. But through all this, it remains your garden, your unique design that is created according to your wishes, desires and personality. You could not do it without help, but it is forever your garden, no-one else's. And once it is complete it will give everyone who comes in contact with it utter joy, and from sharing it thus you can also take your joy. So it is with a person's heart - each person must create their own. They must cultivate the good inclinations, thoughts, dreams, desires and wishes. And they must remove the 'thorns, thistles and weeds'. Thus each person must develop and reform their own soil, and by this I mean their own soul, their own heart. Then anyone who comes in contact with them can take joy in the blossoms of love that have developed there, the gentle and kind thoughts and the utter selflessness of the person they meet. And giving such joy to others will be the gardener's own greatest joy and reward. Of course, the helpful mentor and advisor is Jesus. It is not possible to build such a garden without His advice and help. And certainly some of the tasks required to build your garden He will need to do for you. But nevertheless, it will remain your garden. It must be so, He cannot and must not make your garden for you, or it will never be your own. It must be your own work. And like the creation of a truly successful garden, this work requires great passion. It must be a task to which you devote yourself with all dilligence.
If you liked that metaphor, then I have another to share. Imagine you want to become a master painter. You have an image in your mind of the master work you would like to produce. Yet when you start you lack the skill. You must first produce many lesser works, and learn through painful trial and error how to produce the correct strokes on paper, until have perfected them. Only through much such practice can you become capable of mastery. Is there any other way for one to become a master painter? Well it is the same with the development of your own soul. Only through much effort, and trial and failure can one become master of his or her own passions. One cannot suddenly be endowed with this ability any more than a natural person could suddenly become a master painter - it is only through such diligence and effort that mastery can be achieved. Thus take heart from the many trials and failures you experience on life's path, they are necessary for the master to emerge.
"The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it."