I didn’t start to feel better in my own life until I made a commitment to work on my own life. I stopped making excuses. I realized that I had wronged a lot of people in my life. I knew that I hadn’t always been the person I wanted to be.
I think personal growth starts with this, a tacit acknowledgment that there is work to be done. It’s not a cause for embarrassment; it’s just how it is and always will be. Deciding to do the inner work is the start of it all.
What does that mean for you?
It means you start asking questions that you’ve been avoiding. It means you open yourself up, like a child, to the possibility that you could get badly hurt. No one wants this, but this is the game we play. If you want to be fully present in life, you need to accept the good with the bad. There’s no other way.
Start Where You Are
Wherever you are, however you’re feeling, start there. Your mental health requires it. You require it.
If you don’t start where and how you are, how can you expect others to respond to you in kind? Your personal experience is all that you have. Sure, there are memories. There is your body’s response to where you’ve been, internalized patterns of behavior that shape your life. But, at the center of it all, it’s just you. The person in the middle of the screen.
Don’t feel like a protagonist? Too bad. It’s who you are. You have a role to play in life and it’s best to start relearning what you already knew as a child.
Take some to think about what you were doing on this day when you were a little kid. Were you happy? Were you sad? Why or why not?
I think much of life is a remembering of what you once knew so well, before the separateness of life started to take hold, before you started to judge your experience instead of simply living it.
You are the person you need. You always have been.
As the year comes to an end, it might be a good time to start thinking about this role that you are playing. Is it your own, or is it somebody else’s?
Only you can know that. Only you can ask the questions that need to be asked.
And only you can find the right answers.