By: Lara Dustin Scriba
(2 min. read)
How do you know when to call it? We are encouraged to find our “growth edge,” to do hard things, embrace the uncomfortable, and orient towards constant growth. To not live up to your potential is seen as a tragedy, but when does the rate of growth outweigh the joy experienced in the process?
We push constantly to higher and higher levels, forgetting to congratulate ourselves along the way for all the hard work it took to get to where we are. When do we take the time to simply revel in the experience of simply “being” in this moment, at this level? Orienting ourselves to our new reality and appreciating the skills and stamina it took to get where we are. Simply rest and restore.
When does who we are and where we are in this moment become enough?
This time of year, I find we are immersed in this masculine mentality of goal setting, meeting the agendas of others, analyzing ourselves and our lives, and aggressively wanting to change who we are and the way we innately go about living our lives. It’s easy to get caught up in the “before and after” culture. But I find this quick-fix mentality encourages us to excise parts of ourselves that we or others deem as undesirable without wondering what purpose it served in the first place.
I’m all for improvement and feel like I am constantly seeking to shift, morph, and melt into new ways of being. To explore parts of myself that have yet to be found is an ever-evolving process. Like broken glass being tumbled by the sea, the rough edges slowly dissolving and softening. The process is not gentle and requires constant friction, the consistency of the process shifting, shaping, and revealing new parts of ourselves into being.
Tumbling through the crashing waves certainly creates change but also can be disorienting, requiring surrender to the process rather than trying to command the sea. Duck, dive, tumble, emerge for a breath, and go under again. Repeat, repeat, repeat.
As the years pass, I am trying to embrace a softer, gentler approach to growth. To begin with gratitude for the hard-earned growth that has occurred, acceptance for what simply is, and appreciation for the wealth of opportunities ahead. I am challenging myself to allow the start of the new year to be a time of reflection, celebration, and gratitude, noticing the areas where I’ve struggled most and, rather than coming down hard with criticism, offering up compassion and opportunities for deeper nurturance to the parts of myself that need the most love and care.
Rather than berate myself for not meeting my highest expectations or setting goals that only serve a single purpose, I will challenge myself to make sure I set goals that feed my soul.
Speaking words of encouragement and celebration to my heart that encourage growth as I break new ground, slowly but surely, like a seedling reaching for the sun, I am becoming as a result of constant nourishment and tenderness rather than demand or self-deprecation.
Taking the time to daydream, to wonder what other opportunities are out there, and trust that I already have the ingenuity, skills or curiosity needed to make it a reality. Tending to and nurturing the parts of myself that require the growth needed to embody and embrace the life of my dreams and celebrate the parts of me that I’ve worked so hard to nurture into existence already.