How long has it been? Nine years? Thirty-four years? Maybe a thousand glasses of wine, two thousand miles of coastal exploration and fifteen gallons of tears? Who knows.
However you choose to measure it, what’s most surprising to me is the cyclical nature of growth.
I’ve been analytical for as long as I can remember. My loving mother spent many a nights with me as a child, listening to me vent, helping me talk through my confusion, stifling a smile or laugh or look of horror as I explored the corners of my mind.
I have always been curious. But it was about nine years ago that I was brought to my knees and was forced to look at the world with new eyes. Forced to see how my choices, my view of the world and the people I choose as my tribe impact every facet of my life.
We want to believe that once we learn a lesson, we can check it off the list and move forward. Ah-ha! I have learned to have patience. I was patient in that situation, therefore I am now a patient person… check, check, check.
Sadly, this is not how this works. It is not that easy.
All of our lessons and areas for growth will loop back around. We will be confronted with choices and situations that will make us rise to the occasion again and again.
Can you be patient in this situation? Can you be loving in that situation? Can you show compassion to that person? Can you exercise healthy boundaries now?
Let’s unpack this a little bit more.
For most of my life, communicating my true feelings was not easy for me. I had so much fear about what people would think, who I might offend, not to mention I often didn’t know how I was feeling. Years of mindfulness and meditation have helped me understand myself better. Writing has helped me articulate myself better. Having hard conversations where I feel like I might throw up or faint, run away or cry, has helped me grow and create better relationships, with both family, friends and lovers.
But is it ever really easy? It is ever really done? Do we ever really know exactly what to say, exactly how to say it, when to say it and what actions will validate our best intention-ed words?
Hell to the no.
We try. We try again and again. And it does get a little bit easier. You learn that you can and will survive these scary situations, but it doesn’t mean you enjoy it or that you don’t mess up.
The same can be said for confidence, worthiness, self-care, mindfulness, authenticity, vulnerability, courage… we learn what it is and how to do it. And then we learn it again. And again. And again.
Each time we will be tested differently. Each time we will respond a little bit differently. Each time will learn a little bit more.
And hopefully along the way, we learn to offer ourselves some compassion. Offer and acknowledge how far we’ve come and how well we are doing. Knowing that we all make mistakes, we all have greatness and we all have so much to learn.
The best thing I can offer myself today (and maybe you can relate) is to cut myself some slack.
We are all doing the best we can. I honestly believe that. We will trip and fall, hurt people and hurt ourselves, impress others and exceed our own expectations, time and time again.
I think what is most important is that we are always true to ourselves. That we honor our values and uphold our integrity. This way, we can always hold our head high. And if, er’ when we mess up, we know exactly where to go back to.
We go back to our true self. The one that wants to love and be loved. The one whose hopes and dreams pulse through our veins. The one who hears this with their heart.
Miss Erin Terese
P.S. Happy 11:11 ❤