4 months ago, I was a completely different person. I was extremely uncomfortable being myself, I felt terrified of anyone knowing my secrets, and I felt very alone.
Fast forward to today, and I love myself more than I ever have and feel comfortable in my skin. I tell all my secrets to my best friends, and I feel connected, seen, and known.
Am I "Done" growing? Absolutely not. I don't think I'll ever stop growing.
I don't think I'll ever stop growing.
I'm still in the middle of my process. The past couple of weeks I haven't released any new blogs because I've been so heavy in process that I haven't had the capacity, willpower, or discipline to write anything worth saying.
I've been exhausted. I've been frustrated. I've been crying. I've been feeling. I've been praying.
I'm not through. I never will be. I will forever be seeking growth, seeking to know and love myself, and seeking to come more fully alive in my calling.
And I'm here to tell you that it is worth it!
The pain. The tears. The discomfort. The angst. The frustration.
It's all worth it! And it continues to be more rewarding with every day. Every day brings a new challenge, a new mountain to conquer, a new memory to process, a new emotion to feel.
I heard someone very smart recently say, "If you're feeling pain you're doing it right."
"If you're feeling pain you're doing it right."
And as Dale Partridge says, "We must stop trying to divorce pain from growth." Without pain, true growth won't happen. It's impossible.
Here is what I've learned (and am currently learning) about going all in on coming alive.
1. Ask for help
The most powerful takeaway for me is that people are more important than anything. A good community will take you to the moon, but a bad community will strangle your growth.
Having people to call at any time is one of the most valuable things in the world for me during this time, I'm discovering. Being able to pick up the phone and process emotions or ask for advice or just to blow off some steam has changed my life.
2. Don't run
Running from ourselves never works, I've found. At one point or another, we will have to face our pain, our past, our demons. There's no getting around it.
Why not today?
Make today the day that we take one small action step towards healing.
3. Get rid of any garbage
We have a ton of garbage. I have a ton of garbage.
And it's holding us back. It's killing our purpose. It's tearing at our destiny.
We've got to get it out in the open so that we can feel it, process it, and move past it. It's going to suck sometimes, but the end will be worth every minute.
The beliefs, convictions, and opinions I have are what seem right to me now, but I may change my opinions as I mature.
Practical Next Steps
Do something for your future self today to move forward. Make a phone call, reach out to someone you've hurt, allow yourself to face some pain from the past. You will thank yourself for it tomorrow.
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Japheth is a writer, photographer, and encourager. He currently resides in Redding, California where he is learning how to make life awesome every single day.