I recently posted on social media about my growth and after a discussion with a friend, I decided to elaborate on it…original post in italics.
Growth is a beautiful thing to witness, but it’s not an easy process because oftentimes, our biggest growth spurts stem from painful events, relationship heartbreaks, incomprehensible loss and the everyday punches in the gut life throws.
It’s hard to look at yourself, knowing you’re a good person, but still feel like there’s a secret you’re keeping and if the world opened that vault, your fears and shame would tumble out, shattering that image of the person they thought you were.
That’s how I found myself feeling at age 41 and why I needed to change.
There was a time when I tried to ignore the pain, bury the shame and hope nobody could see the flawed person I stared at in the mirror, as I smiled to hide her.
I think some that know me would wonder how I could feel this way about myself. I had many reasons to like myself. I’ve always had friends. I’ve enjoyed many successes and have had more adventures than some will have in lifetime. But…when I looked in the mirror, I didn’t LOVE who I saw. I often didn’t even know who the hell I was looking at.
Can you relate at all??
Over the past two years, I’ve been on my journey of growth which has been the most pivotal time of my life so far. One particular book I read, challenged me to dig into my past to understand and identify how I developed some of the limiting beliefs that have kept me stuck in patterns of behavior.
This has been a cathartic experience, stirring up all kinds of emotions as I unearthed elements of myself that I did not really like. I thought I was completely “over” so many experiences from my past, so it caught me off guard to realize that the accumulation of small incidences over the years had actually stayed with me. A lifetime of jabs, failures, rejections and hurts had slowly beat down the person I once was, causing self-doubt, feelings of not being good enough and a indomitable fear of speaking up.
Now I’ve not committed any crimes and in some ways, much of what I was hiding, is not truly a big deal in the whole scheme of life. However, the “crime” for me, was being someone I’m not…often living a facade of who I thought I should be at that time.
The stuff we’ve endured will never go away. It cannot be changed. What can change though, is how we view our experiences. Mastin Kipp, in his book Claim Your Power, says
“To truly claim your power, you must relate differently to your wounds. You must begin to see them not just as something painful that happened to you, but as a catalyst for your spiritual growth.”
This changed everything for me.
I decided to stop playing victim and start recognizing all the insanely beneficial lessons I’ve learned over the years. How every beating of my soul, created a stronger, more powerful and compassionate person.
If I’d had a different life up to this point, I would never have been in the position to know I had to grow. And without this time to focus on me, I would still be living a live that does not fully resemble or align with, the real me.
Why does growth hurt?
Because when we go down this road, we have to be willing to face those “demons”. It sucked…
- To admit my choices hurt people along the way
- That I’d lived a facade because I didn’t have courage to be genuine
- That I struggled so hard to make decisions, I’d let others decide for me
- That I would go along with ideologies simply to keep the peace
- That I essentially had no “balls” to own who I was
- And that half the time, I didn’t even know who I was
What else did I discover?
I continually gave my power away and after years of doing so, I felt drained, empty and resentful.
I was seeking happiness from external sources. Something outside of me was always going to make me happy. Being with that person. Moving to a new place. When I earned that amount of money. If I got that promotion. After I complete the Boston marathon or an Ironman. If I go to church regularly and participate in a group. If I had children.
I was making choices for the sake of pleasing others, to feel needed and a desperate desire to feel like I matter. These are not the best reasons for making life decisions.
The truth is that the ONLY way any person can feel truly whole and able to give fully to others, is to love yourself first. To honestly look in the mirror and know that you are living your truth. To know that you are fully in alignment with the person you want to be and that you will not change for the sake of another or to “fit in”.
“Knowing you have failed to live up to your own standards is the ultimate pain, knowing that you have fulfilled your highest vision is the ultimate pleasure.” – Tony Robbins
I’m seeking the ultimate pleasure in life.
I’m far from perfect but I’m certainly not flawed and will always seek growth. The biggest source of pain is most often, the biggest opportunity for growth. Don’t hide out in the shadows with all your “demons”. Stare them down, say thank you for the lesson and walk away a bigger, bolder version of your self.
If you’re in a place where you feel stuck and desire a change, please reach out to me.
*** Also….I’m working on rebuilding my website, so look for a final product soon! ***