It’s almost my birthday and I am so excited. Mostly because this is the second time in the year I get to really take stock of my life so far.
This was not always the case, by the way, for many years I had many material things that would get me excited about my birthday. For those who knew me… I would make a huge deal around my birthday. My focus was so much on going out to the fanciest clubs or throwing parties for my family and most friends to come to celebrate with me (notice I said mostly friends) I would spend so much on things and people I probably would not remember cause for some reason for most, the best birthday gift is getting the person drunk. Yup, we would always get the birthday boy or girl drunk in compensation for not making time to buy a thoughtful gift. How funny 😀
Anyway, I grew out of that phase and now when my birthday approaches its time for me to take stock of my life, where I am, and where I want to be. Have I grown in character? And what valuable things did I learn about myself? It’s quite fun comparing the younger you with the old you (not so much cause sometimes you feel like hitting yourself for the silly mistakes your younger self did) but all in all, growth is all I’m looking for.
Growth. It’s funny how things change cause I remember when I was growing up I was always the younger person in the group. In the house, in class; everyone was either my age or older, mostly older than me. I can remember how I wished to be older so I could do the things my older cousins and friends were doing. I really felt like I was missing out on something, some kind of liberation that came with age. So many times we focus so much on the number we are turning and not necessarily the personal growth that is necessary each year. See for me what I honestly believe is age is just a number to calculate the years we spend on this earth but personal growth is really a choice.
Now here I am, identified as a grown up not only by age but also by the government :D. and to get to this point, there were some Pains and experiences we had to get through, each day, each month each year. With any kind of growth comes pain.
Most people associate pain with a negative feeling.No one wants to experience pain in their life, true? But it is not a feeling we can go through life without having not experienced. In my 20 something years,(this is not the point I reveal my age) I have experienced the discomfort of pain. The pain of regret, the pain of rejections, heartbreak, the pain of deception and even pain of failure and loss. For a very long time, I used to do anything to avoid it, ignore it run away from it. But soon I realized that for us to continuously grow into our highest selves, there are some uncomfortable pains we must experience and learn from.
The purpose of the pain we are experiencing is not to hurt us but to help us move out of this space that is no longer serving us to a better place
Take a moment and let that sink in.
Pain is the best teacher, it is meant to push for better not to break us. If we run away from all its lessons how do we expect to grow more into our true-self? Take for example the life of a butterfly. Before it gets its wings it’s a caterpillar in a pupa. Separated from what it was used to and now for some time has to get accustomed to the cocoon. It kind of looks like life is over for the one in the pupa, until it breaks out of it transformed into a butterfly. From being flightless to flying. Its reached its highest potential but it had to go through a period of transformation.
Looking at life as the life of a butterfly, it’s important for us to keep in mind that the goal is to keep evolving to our highest self. Growth! in all areas of life is necessary for us to reach a new level of existence. Growth is never comfortable neither is it painless. Just imagine a world without the beauty of butterflies? a world where caterpillars once they have reached their full length/weight don’t evolve further than that.
We reach adult life at 18 years of age and the human body reached full maturity; stop growing by the age of 18-24years (varies for some). But just like a caterpillar, it doesn’t end there. That’s when its time for the real transformation takes place only when we seek and embrace situations that help us grow into the best versions of us.
So the question I ask myself every time this year is am I getting better or am I just growing older? Growing old is compulsory but getting better is a choice we have to make for ourselves. If we choose just to only count the years we have lived and called it life, we will never have enjoyed much or suffered much and live in the grey area of comfort until we die, never knowing how much we had to offer this world. We have to seek our highest form because only then do we really begin to live.
The questions we should ask ourselves is are we just getting by each year counting down the years we are alive on this earth or are we getting better at mastering ourselves? By all means, avoid the trap of living the same year over and over again and settle for that being life. It’s been said that most people die at 25 but are buried at 85years because they reach a point that they stop growing, they stop stretching to reach their highest potential.
It’s quite easy.
1. Take time to reflect back
2. Be grateful for where you have reached and what you have
3.Set some goals to crash.
you don’t necessarily have to set huge quantum leap kind of goals, it can be small and simple just as long as its pushing forward in the direction of who you aspire to become. So my friends, let’s strive for progress each year and have more to celebrate when our birthdays come around.
love and respect