Growing is a part of life. And it doesn’t only happen after serious breaking points. It’s happening every day, fast or slow. It’s sitting right beside you awaiting acknowledgement. Being in a relationship or alone doesn’t prevent it. It’s a cycle in itself and it’s happening to each of us, we’re simply each in different phases. But we cannot begin the true process until we sit down and say ‘You know what, I’m ready for this. I’m ready for whatever the universe is going to throw at me. It’s time to break out of my seed and grow.’.
Knowing this, you will not grow until you are equipped. You won’t change unless you want to. (It’s a lot like puberty. I know-weird example, BUT our minds, like our bodies, do not develop until they are ready.)
I don’t remember exactly when it happened to me. And I suppose none of us do. When did you truly begin to develop intellectually? Now I don’t mean book smarts! When did we first learn something school, or our parents, didn’t teach us? When was the first time something hurt us, and we learned? When was our first ‘aha’ moment?
There are so many little notes for growth. So we start small…
You must set your space. When you keep aloe in a small pot, she stays very small. But if you move her to a larger pot, one that allows her to breathe and stretch, she will spread her limbs long and become even more marvelous than when you first took her in.You are the aloe. Evaluate what you’re surrounded by. Most of the time, it’s hard to see what you’re in while you’re in it. So you’re allowed to take a step back and reflect on it. And if the conditions aren’t suitable, it’s time to (re)move yourself.
This brings us to isolation. While isolation has a bad connotation, on occasion, it’s a blessing. Isolation allows us to see what we’re working with, outside and inside ourselves. When you spend enough time around people, you pick up things they do. ‘Alone time’ helps you get to know yourself. It brings you back to originality. What do you actually like? You won’t know if you’re constantly dependent on someone else and using them as a crutch. Get to know your likes, your quirks, your feelings…
Within, you know, your intuition may be an aid in this, the truth of your situation. You are present to see how the people around you are treating you. You know what you deserve. Although, you may choose to believe otherwise. Therefore, it’s time for you to clear your space and remove toxicity. I know this is the most difficult part. Maybe they’re the company you’ve been keeping, maybe it’s your family, maybe “they’re all you have”. But it’s time to stop keeping things in your life that stunt your growth. (And yes I know you can’t get rid of your family and I’m not saying you should!) It’s okay to set up a wall and not listen to the negative comments they have to throw at you. Ever heard the saying, “you are who you hang with”? It’s true and you don’t have to be a product of them. I promise, from experience, that when you let one door close, another will open. There will be something better on the other side!
While you’re removing the bad juju from your life, stop doing things you don’t like. I’ve never heard of someone who was happy doing something they didn’t enjoy. You don’t have to live according to anyone else’s words, only your own. Don’t seek permission, you don’t need it. Life is too short to be listening to everything everyone else says. What do they know if they aren’t in your shoes?
Now don’t get me wrong, having supportive people in your life is vital to this process because while you need to self reflect, you also need someone to ‘show you the way’. Certain people in our life show us what we’re lacking, not in a bad way. Constructive criticism doesn’t have to be scary. And it’s 100% okay to ask for help. Reach out to people you trust and are close to. Sometimes we need a little push, so we can see what our flaws are. Notice and acknowledge them. Say ‘I know you’re there and I’m going to bring light to you’.
Don’t forget to feel what you’re going through. Growing is about sorting through our baggage, then tossing it. If you don’t feel, you won’t move past it. Cry, scream, laugh, feel every single emotion because all it means is that you’re alive! And you’re human!
You’re probably wondering why this has to be so serious. But surprise! It doesn’t. Part of growing is expressing yourself and being creative. Take your growth seriously, but at the same time make sure you’re having fun with it. It’s okay to treat yourself. And life is too short to be wasting your time being unhappy. Your soul must flourish. Participate in things you actually enjoy and when you need it, remind yourself why you’re here. Life doesn’t have to be a harsh place. Be kind to yourself, I know this isn’t easy.
We all fall and mess up, dozens of times. But we shouldn’t be judged for any of our faults because, well, we’re blooming. And we won’t fully understand something, even if it’s said right to our faces, until we discover it for ourselves.
It’s important to accept that these ‘steps’ will occur over and over again. The obstacles won’t ever stop, we just get stealthier.