How to Recognize Growth

I am probably going to provide an answer that might be a little surprising. I have been on a path to enlightenment for about four years now. Back then, I was tired of being miserable and not knowing how to make it any better. I was surrounded by negativity which was piled on top of the negativity I was telling myself on a daily basis. One day, I decided that life had to be better. I wanted to feel better so I started reading books and seeking answers.

“The unexamined life is not worth living.”-Socrates

You are probably expecting that my life was all rainbows and puppies after that. Not at all. For the last four years, I have been faced with illness, relationship issues, job loss, emotional losses and an unstable home environment. I have been rocked by every wave possible that could be thrown at someone. The way that I know that I have grown is that I am still smiling.

Prior to my inner-work, every disappointment in my life would send me spiraling into a depression and launch me into an internal battle. I rarely took any joy or responsibility for the good things that happened in my life. I attributed those to other people or luck. On the contrary, I absorbed every issue or problem that cropped up. Somehow, everything bad was my fault. Eventually, I learned that it was all me. I was attracting negative people in my life who kept me deeply entrenched in my negative thinking. It was a vicious cycle until one day I felt so weary that I couldn’t get out of bed. Those negative people are no longer in my life.  The funny thing about true friends is that as you progress they will too. Don’t ever be afraid to lose friends because you decide to change. Good friends will honor your change and may even be inspired by you.

It’s not that life got easier. Bad things still happened. It’s not that I didn’t experience emotions because of them. I’ve cried more than enough tears in the past few years. What changed is my state of mind about my situation. Previously, I would’ve been broken down and defeated. Now, I still cry. I might even freak out and have a moment, but then I rationalize it in my mind. I make a decision that something good is going to come out of the experience. I see it as change that is meant to help me move on to something greater.I know now that there will be difficult times, but nothing can break me. I can look back at all that I have survived and it makes me feel strong enough to get through anything. Who I am today is a sum total of all of my experiences. I know that I have been changed. The other sign of growth is that I’m not waiting for anyone else to validate it or agree.

I’ve spent more than enough of my life inviting negativity into my life. The other day, something popped into my head. The phrase was: “I invite the Wonderful into my life.” I like it as my new mantra. How about you?

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