When we think about the overall process of growth it is usually with some sort of emotional neutrality – we know that it is essential for all living things. Our gardens grow from seedlings, our plants flourish with the proper amount of water and light, we find delight in the stages of growth in our children and grandchildren.
Why then, does necessary emotional growth elicit in us some hesitation, fear and subsequent avoidance? Two truths about growth can provide the answer:
- Growth is uncomfortable. When we recognize that something has to change, it often means leaving our comfort zone. That might include familiar patterns and dynamics, it might mean that a relationship is over, perhaps a transitional change is on the horizon. In any case, when we can learn to be okay with the discomfort, leaning towards faith instead of what is familiar, we can push past the fears and challenge change to work for us.
- The middle is messy. Either end of growth is the safe zone. After all, we feel secure in our comfort zone (regardless of the niggling instincts working at our inner self) and once we have gotten through the difficult time, we have healed and strengthened our spirit. But the middle is messy. And that is okay. It is during this time that we again lean into faith, ask for help, use coping skills and take time to count our blessings.
Growth is an essential process for optimal emotional health. Knowing that it can be both uncomfortable and a little messy can help us feel prepared when we know that a change is necessary for our continued journey.
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