Who we are is always in the process of becoming. Although we might not know it, there is room to grow even in the fullest of blossoms. That’s because sometimes growth means a death, a letting go of who we were in order to become who we were meant to be.
It’s not in easy process, but it’s a worthwhile one.
The difficulty lies in the awareness that we are not yet there. Just like the mountain that impedes our path on a hiking trip or the lack of experience that finds us interrupting our career, our ability to keep going is as necessary as breathing. If we were to stop, to turn back, to give up, that would also be a death, a silent lights out of our dreams.
There are ways we make the process harder. As Iyanla Vanzant said on Oprah’s Life Class:
“Comparison is an act of violence against yourself.”
I’ve done it enough times to know the self-inflicting pain that comes when you compare yourself to others. And it’s never to people who are worse off than you. It’s always to those reaping the benefits of their hard work. We rarely see the struggles people go through to become successful. We see their book deals, high paying dream jobs and easy lifestyle as gifts given to just a handful of people. But they were here too. It just wasn’t exciting enough to land on TV.
So I say to you now and to myself, this is our growing pains. This is not the end of our story. This is a small pebble on a beautiful, but lengthy path. There will come a time when we will celebrate too. But now’s not the time for rejoicing, it’s all about hard work. Moments like these beckon us to believe even when no evidence exists for positive change. It’s a call for faith.
Living in Hawaii hasn’t been easy. Writing jobs are sparse here and writers are aplenty. There have been many times that I’ve thought of giving up. But I remember what it took for me to start from nothing (no writing jobs, no contacts) five years ago and how far I’ve come. When you’re settled and you think you’ve got it covered, life will always hurl you a curve ball. It’s a sign you’re on the right path and on your way to self-growth and change. It can be an opportunity or it can be the beginning of the end of your career.
I’ve taken up watercolor painting recently. First of all, let me start by saying that I pretty much suck at it. But the process of learning it by this lady has re-taught me the importance of trying something even if you’re not good at it. It’s a reminder that we’re all students in this big class called life. Making mistakes, realizing your not good at it, dipping your paintbrush into something unfamiliar, these are all key life lessons. It’s not the end of the world when we fail, when we make a mistake, or when what we do doesn’t make us immediately successful. It’s believing what we’re doing matters and sticking through it even when it feels like it’s not working. True failure is the end anyway. If you’re still working towards your dreams, you haven’t failed yet.
So if you’re comparing yourself to someone more successful, stop right now. Come back to yourself. Be grateful for whatever stage your in. Know that what your doing is worthy and meaningful. And remember that the greatest gift you can offer the world is to genuinely be and give of yourself.