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Growth is Painful

So often life is reduced to platitudes:
“Time heals all wounds”
“It’s better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all”
“Nobody can make you happy until you are happy with yourself first”
“Happiness comes from within”
“Happiness is not trying or finding, it’s deciding”

While there is some wisdom to be gleaned from these sayings…it’s not always that easy.

Yes, we must chase happiness ourselves because what we go after is what we received. And yes, we must find happiness within ourselves and not rely on another person to create that happiness for us. And yes, the gift of time allows us to heal and see things from a new perspective and the lessons that can be taken away.

However, no matter how much we repeat those sayings – those platitudes – to ourselves, it’s sometimes hard to embody them. Sometimes the words that we heard for so long – “you’re not good enough,” “you’re not good looking enough,” “you don’t make enough money” – are the echoes of what we hear when we try to focus on the happiness or find the joy in a moment or take the next step forward.

It is learning how to battle those demons inside, the words that echo in our minds, that finally allow us to find that true happiness. But it takes time and it takes work. It’s learning that the words that put us down aren’t the truth of who we truly are. That there is strength within each one of us. That we can achieve tough things. There is joy in simplicity that doesn’t always require money. That learning to take the time to truly enjoy the things that bring us happiness can be enough – like a walk along a river, or reading a good book, or taking a nap, or find a new favorite pen. It’s learning that we can be the person we have always meant to be.

So yes, while there is truth in the words that I wrote at the top of this post, getting to that happiness takes time and effort. If you’re not there yet, that’s okay – because one day you will be. There will be tears that are shed because you feel alone or for the life you thought you once had. There will be days when it feels hard – because it is hard. There will be moments when you feel lost, but that’s only because you’re carving out a path for yourself that you have never traveled.

The growth that you experience will sometimes be painful, but that’s how you know you are growing beyond where you once were.

Sometimes it is hard to see the possibilities that life has in store for you, but one day you will see the spark of something new, the new leaf that begins to grow, the light that peeks around those clouds.
And one day you will find the happiness, the joy that you have always deserved.

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