Growth Spurts

Yesterday, someone shared a quote with me that resonated with me so much. She said, "Just remember, trying to hurt me by bringing up my past is like trying to rob my old house. I don't live there anymore. That ain't my stuff." 

When you make a positive change in your life, the people who think they know you well, will automatically think you are still the same person--five years ago--ten years ago, and so on. They say that familiarity breeds contempt. It's basically thinking that you know someone so well, which simultaneously starts the loss of respect for that same person, as well as their values. You no longer think they'll ever change, and if they do change, you won't see it or acknowledge it. You'll keep seeing the person you used to know, without acknowledgment for the growth or change they've done in their lives. A funny example is that I still get accused of being the prankster I used to be when I was only 13 years old! (I really was!)  It's great to have old friends, but sometimes they never take you out of a certain category they have placed you in their minds. It's not good or bad---it's just how it is sometimes. Think about when you were in your teens. Are you the same person with the same beliefs and thoughts? Of course not, but then again, I don't want to assume. Some people actually never do change. 

Nevertheless, it made me realize, literally and figuratively about my own life, and my actual old house--the old me and my old habits and also, how far I've come. And trust me, I'm not where I want to be, but thank God I'm not where I used to be. During my prayer and meditation time in the mornings, even while living at my old house, I kept getting confirmations and messages quite a few times a day that said, "Transitioning." I would get it in the form of a song's name on my meditative music channel, or I would get it in the form of a butterfly or even a quote I saw online---in so many various forms. It wouldn't stop. I thought the transitioning process meant it would be a good thing---but bad things have to happen---the birthing pains need to set in before something new and beautiful would come out of it. 

"And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose." -- (Romans 8:28 ESV).

We were also given the task to “declare the praises of him who called [us] out of darkness into his wonderful light." We are witnesses who should testify about what God has done in our lives. You may be going through the worst time of your life right now, but the act of thanking God during the storm is what's important. At the risk of sounding cliché, when the storms pass, that's when you see the most beautiful rainbows. Good and bad have to work together. If you just lived life with no bad experiences or hardships whatsoever, you wouldn't appreciate the true happiness---the true gratitude of where you are right at this moment. 

When you grow spiritually and as a person, people, places and things seem to fall out of your life. At first, it may feel like a bad thing. "Why is God doing this to me?" But it's for the greater good. You subconsciously relinquish things that no longer serve you. I was so frustrated when I found out my daily glass of wine or two (and sometimes three or four) was putting my heart into afib, and would make my liver enzymes skyrocket---whereas someone else could do the same routine as myself, but never have that side effect. As much as people would like to think that I quit drinking out of willpower---that is so untrue. My body literally repelled the stuff I used to love. I'll never forget sitting in my hospital room, hooked up to monitors. The second day, the cardiologist came in my room to talk to me. I'll never forget his words. 

"Your heart went into afib. Alcohol is a major contributor to this. We see this all the time. One day, your heart's gonna get tired," and his eyes stared right into mine, giving me that look like, "You'll die if you don't quit." 

Alcohol fell out of my life. 

My point is, many things, including people have fell out of my life. Some stayed, some left, and some are just neutral. 

When you reevaluate your life---what is it that no longer serves you? Can you discern for yourself who and what is needed in your life? And not to say that we aren't here to help those who aren't able to give back---but if the nature of the relationship is more toxic than helpful or positive, then that's a clue to keep moving forward. When alcohol wasn't producing anything positive in my life, I decided to take a 90 day break, I saw how much happier I was and how much sleep I was getting. I was motivated, exercising more and focused on things that truly mattered. I wasn't washing down my emotions. I was dealing with them head on---sober. Then those 90 days became 15 months. 

Do the same with with places, relationships or habits. Does your work bring you more grief than a feeling of accomplishment? Do any of your relationships make you feel bad about yourself? Do any of your habits make you feel sick, sad or gives a sense of guilt? (My ice cream can be added into this slot!) All it takes is to be aware of it---to simply acknowledge it. Then you can decide what to add or subtract. 

Too many of us want to stay in our comfort zone. I never wanted to leave my comfort zone. But everything you ever wanted is on the other side of fear. 

Although I still have a lot of work to do, I'm a work in progress and I refuse to give up at this point. I've made steps to better my life, my health as well as my environment. Is it perfect? NOTHING is. But it has given me a sense of peace where I no longer care for the petty things I used to care for. I don't entertain the small stuff in life that used to rattled my cage. And because I care more about myself these days, I no longer need validation from other people. I don't care what people think of me, because I know 'me' and most definitely, God knows my heart. I had someone ask me the other day, "I don't like sitting out on my front porch because people can see me." I said, "Let them see you!" When I'm out on my porch relaxing---let them see me---and if they do see me, come and say hi! Have a seat! I don't bite...(on most days.) 

Unapologetically---be your authentic self always. 

And don't be alarmed when you see some people breaking off from your life when you're having a growth spurt. It means that you're doing something right for yourself. If they want to catch up with you, they will. Maybe you can be an example they're looking for. Or maybe, they're just on a different path than you are...and that's okay. 

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