A new year is here, and after the shemozzle of 2020, 2021, and 2022, it’s understandable why sometimes we wish things were easier, when in fact we need to wish we were better.
Personal growth is the development of skills, knowledge, wisdom, habits, behaviour and personal qualities. This growth allows us to reach our full potential, be our best selves and live our happiest, most successful life. If there was ever a time to invest in your personal growth, it’s now. When we speak of growth, we speak of advancement, expansion, maturation, blooming, and rising beyond our current state.
The thing is, in our quest to grow, we’re bound to hit speed bumps, fall, get lost, discouraged, lose prized possessions and even lose a few relationships. Suffering is an inevitable part of life, from ageing and death to heartbreak and disappointment. If you felt happy all the time, you wouldn’t recognise it as happiness. You need to experience the opposite end of the spectrum sometimes to be able to truly recognise and appreciate happiness.
The term “personal growth” is misleading because it sounds like it’s going to be fun. But if we called it “deliberately making yourself uncomfortable by challenging and being honest with yourself so at times it’ll feel like you’re dying”, nobody would do it.
Our world is rapidly changing. Most parents have so much on their plate that the plate is more like a buffet with a pile of crap you don’t enjoy eating.
This new year, we need to get more comfortable and at peace with pain and suffering. As parents we try so hard to not let our children feel pain, and we also avoid it for ourselves, but if we do this – we take away opportunities for growth. It’s not nice seeing our children hurt or upset from being rejected, or in pain from being disappointed or having their heart broken. But the earlier they learn how to deal with pain, the better. Suffering can make us more resilient and better able to endure hardships. Just as a muscle, in order to build up, we must endure some pain, so our emotions must endure pain in order to strengthen.
Growth happens not by shielding you from sorrow and pain, but by strengthening you to bear it if it comes.
Growth happens not by making your path easy, but by making you sturdy enough to tread any path.
Growth happens not by taking hardship from our life, but by taking all cowardice and fear from our heart as we meet hardships.
Growth happens not by granting us unbroken sunshine, but by keeping our faces bright even in the shadows.
My wish for you this year is not for it to be a year of rose coloured glasses, sunshine and lollipops with some unicorns thrown in for good measure. My wish for you is that no matter what storm comes your way, no matter what hardship you go through, you know in your heart that you will get through it. Because not all storms that come to us cause havoc and disrupt our life, some storms come to clear the path.