Funny… just talked about this tonight. It takes hard work & determination to dig deep into yourself. Then use that knowledge to grow as a person. It is not without tears & struggle that one can do this. But the journey is so very worth it.
Had a great discussion with a long-time friend last night. We hadn’t been able to get together at Christmas, or before that even! It had been a while since we sat and talked. The thing I love about this particular girlfriend is her love of life, her enthusiasm for it really. She is just a strong woman that I quite often find myself gravitating towards to bounce ideas off when I am a little lost on my path. She is an adventurer… she recently decided that she wanted to go see the Polar Bears. So she did. She didn’t wait for anyone to say that they would go with her. Not her. She decided a trip up North to see the Polar Bears was her next adventure. She foound a tour and away she went. Now she doesn’t just jump into things. She is a researcher (except for this trip, this one she actually did just go online, booked it and went). She takes her time making decisions. She will shop around for the best advice before she commits. I saw her do this with her kayak, her vehicle, really anything that she wants to do in her life. That is just her. We have some of the best in-depth conversations EVER!! So it was no surprise when we met up last night for dinner that the conversation turned to something a little more intense. When I got home last night and was cruising the social media sights, I came upon the picture at the top of this blog. I reposted it on Facebook but my mind has not shut off of the thoughts that keep flooding my brain about it.
One of the things my gf and I talked about last night was the fact that I didn’t seem to have many lifetime friends. This actually concerned me a bit for some time. That I had no one in my life (minus family) that I have known for a really really long time. But I was only looking at the surface on that subject. I started listing people off in my head and realized that I do have a number of friends that I have known for 10+ years. These are not exactly the people I would call up and say “hey, I got this pressing matter on my mind and would love to pick your brain about it”. But as my gf and I talked about this, I realized not many people do have these kinds of people in their lives. One thing that struck me was that I have a lot of people that come into my life, walk with me for a bit, and then slowly make their way in a different directions. Now for some that would be a cause for concern. Not me. I know that I am not the same person I was 10 years ago. Or 6 years ago. Or last year for that matter. Especially in the last 6 years, I have gone through a tremendous amount of growth. I have run into people that I have known for years to have then tell me I look different. I had one gf meet up for coffee with me that I hadn’t seen since my divorce tell me that she couldn’t get over how much I am much more comfortable since my divorce and for years before that. WOW that spoke volumes to me!
So as my gf and I talked last night we stumbled upon some things that may or not be true, but they do seem to fit the scenario in this case.
I think people are in love with the idea of personal growth. Much like all the smokers that say they are going to quit but are really only in love with the IDEA of quitting (I know a little on this topic!). Self-growth takes a tremendous amount of courage to even begin. It is not something that is done overnight. It is not a week long retreat that you sit with your thoughts and are done. It is a daily occurrence. I say that people are in love with the idea of personal growth because change is hard. No one wants to look inward and see that well, truth be told, YOU are the cause of all the things in your life that you either love or hate! I have said this so many times before… it is so much easier to walk around blaming others for your crappy life.
He didn’t ____________ for me.
She said ____________ about me.
They _________ me.
Blah. Blah. Blah. If you sit there waiting for someone to pick you on their team, or Mr. Right to invite you to that event, or your parents to tell you they are proud, you might just be waiting forever! Don’t get me wrong, all those things would be nice but get up off your ass and do it for yourself!
It’s too painful.
It’s too hard.
I like me but _______
I asked him to _________ but he still won’t.
I couldn’t never to go ___________ by myself.
WAAA. WAAA. WAAA. All these excuses that hold your head under water!
As you start down that path to self-discovery, it gets ugly. It gets hard. There will be tears. There will be struggle. But I promise you this… IT IS SOOOOOO VERY WORTH IT. Change doesn’t happen overnight. It takes years of work. And even then you are not done. It is not a destination you are heading to. The growth never stops. It shouldn’t.
So you can have fun in the shallow end of life; if that’s your thing. Splashing about. Staying safe. Sure it’s fun. But it is so much more exhilarating to dunk your head in the deep in. To float with no bottom. To take your time to explore your surroundings. It may only look scary because all you see around you is the wide open water and sky. But look closer. See those clouds? Can you feel that seaweed brush up against your leg? Or maybe it was a fish. Can you feel the struggle within yourself to want to swim back to the shallow end? Can you feel your heart beat speed up a little as you fight those voices in your head trying to convince yourself to take you back to safety? Then if you really pay attention, your breathing will become a little deeper and more stable. Your body will start to relax. Your heart will slow its pace. Listen to yourself. It is getting more comfortable being in the deep end. It is adjusting to the rhythm of change. Not everything has to be fight or flight. You have the power to master your thoughts. You have the power to master your energy. You have the power to really dig deep into your being to discover. You have the power.
Alone in the deep end.