Years ago, I dedicated my life to growth.
I vowed to never stagnate, to be open to change. I vowed to not just grow, but to seek out opportunities for growth and embrace it wholeheartedly.
Imagine being in the woods, with only a compass to guide you. You’re an expert at compass-reading (you’ve been at it for years), so you are unafraid – you’ve got this compass, and it’s pointing north, and you know as long as you follow it, you’ll be fine.
But slowly, gradually, you realize there’s something wrong. You’re not getting anywhere. What was once familiar now seems strange.
You’re not scared; these woods aren’t dangerous and you’ve got plenty of supplies and daylight. You’re unsettled. Your trusted tool isn’t providing the right guidance anymore – the path you knew to walk isn’t the right path.
I woke up yesterday unsettled.
My internal compass, previously trustworthy, was stuck pointing in the same direction it’s pointed.
But I’m not going that direction anymore.
It’s not the fault of the compass. It hasn’t broken.
I went through trauma so intense, I lost myself. I had only my vows left, my compass, shining through the dark fog I found myself wrapped in. So when I started walking, naturally I chose the path already marked.
But it’s not the right path anymore.
I’m not that person anymore.
This compass, these vows? They belong to the person I was over a year ago. Back then, I lived in ignorance of the coming storms. I had a lightheartedness I’ve since lost – and I now feel a depth I didn’t have then. We are sisters, this me-of-the-past and me-of-now, but my path forked in a way she had no way to anticipate.
My friend and coach, Mark Silver, gave me a beautiful metaphor: trauma is being forged. You’re heated up and beaten down. And now, I’m in the cold water with steam rising up all around me.
I’m stronger. I’m smarter. I’m more awake, more aware. My heart is clearer even as I feel less clear.
It’s time to look over that passionate dedication I felt in the past and see where it fits in me now – and if it fits, at all. It’s time to strip down and sit in the steam, to integrate my time spent in the burning fires being changed, to look at the hits I took, to patiently sit with myself and make space for who I am now to emerge.
No forcing, no pushing. No rushing. No assumptions.
My tools: a willingness to be surprised. An open heart. A tentative connection to myself, a stronger – and yet still tentative – connection to Spirit. Patience. Love.
A journey well worth the taking.