Guest Post: Finding a Bigger Pond – Realizing the Problem Isn’t Me
Today I’m pleased to share a guest post from one of my clients. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
I left therapy that day, my mind reeling. Reeling at the possibilities before me, the world was my oyster. The hurt that I had been experiencing the past several years was still there, but I now understood why.
Personal growth hurts. We are bombarded daily with photo-shopped images and celebrities that have more money than common sense. We have thoughts that we aren’t thin enough, not rich enough, not popular enough…That we are NOT ENOUGH. This is the scarcity model and it works. It makes companies lots and lots of money.
But we are human beings, not corporations. We yearn for more than just money, even as we sit on the sidelines, envious of those who seemingly have it all. A longing, connections with others, meaning and purpose in life… Why? We stop growing physically by the time we are adults, but we never stop growing emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. I thought back to when I was a child. As I grew, my feet got bigger. But my shoes did not and therefore, my feet hurt. Why did I think personal growth be any different?
This was a revelation to me. I had thought that I wasn’t ENOUGH. In reality it was that the space I occupied was TOO SMALL. I have outgrown the space that I created, that I currently occupy. It’s not that I am lacking. I just have become TOO MUCH for the space, the world that I created to meet my needs. And when that world, that space, that attitude started to stifle my growth, it hurt me.
So what do I do now? It’s scary even acknowledging that the space I hold now is too small. And creating a new space? That’s even scarier. The devil you know and all that. However my world came to be, it has worked. Until now. And I realized I had a choice. I could choose to stay in pain, limited by my own self, my own creation OR I could be brave and create new spaces to explore and try different experiences.
I look at my fears, at what I’m scared of. Of finding others like me, or that even just like me. I go to events, dates, try new things. Yes, it’s hard. And yet I go in with an open mind to be me and to have a good time. I haven’t been disappointed yet. Either I find people and activities that refuel me, that recharge me, that allow me to grow or I find things that just don’t work.
Not every experience or person is going to ‘fit’. Just like trying on shoes, some just don’t fit. That’s GOOD. Don’t wear shoes that hurt! And while people are not shoes, I am choosing not to have those people in my life that cause me hurt and say “No” to opportunities that don’t align with who I am being right now Some people and activities may need some work or tweaking. And then there are those that just fit who I am now and my future self. Those are the people and activities that I cherish and grateful for.
Shoes do not have to hurt. Nor does life. If you find yourself struggling and it hurts and working on personal growth, don’t panic. Just find yourself a different space. Space that is big enough for you to express yourself, and have room to continue to grow. Don’t think too small!
photo credit: AER Wilmington DE 2013-08-12 – 7.jpg via photopin (license)