Growing Pains

Change is inevitable, growth is optional.   -John Maxwell

This quote sums up the last days, weeks, months and even years of my life.  Change used to be something that I thought I controlled.  For as long as I can remember, I was a planner.  I liked to plan often and plan ahead.  However, about four years ago, my plans were completely changed and taken out of my control.  I was on track with my vision for the “perfect family”, I had a great marriage, a healthy son who was almost two, and another baby on the way.  She was to be due the exact month I wanted, so I could have the exact birthday spacing I wanted… my plan was perfect.  But, on this life changing day, in a matter of hours, a piece of the perfect family I had envisioned was suddenly gone and my world as I knew it changed forever.  I suddenly lost my baby, Claire, over halfway through my pregnancy.  It changed me in ways I didn’t predict, and not for the better.  I couldn’t get over how my perfect plan wasn’t also God’s perfect plan; I was a good person, why did this happen to me?  As time passed, I began looking for a purpose to this tragedy.  I always believed that everything happened for a reason, that all happenings, good and bad are part of something grand.  But, I couldn’t see how anything good could ever come from this.

This is where “growth is optional” became a real life decision for me.  It didn’t happen overnight by any means.  In fact, it took a very long time for me to reach a point where I was no longer angry or bitter.  Change was very painful, but eventually, I was able to allow this experience to grow me.

First, I changed my focus from feeling sorry for myself, lying around and being depressed, to getting up off the couch and doing something positive.  I decided to take action and pursue something I wanted.  So, I set a goal of competing in my first fitness competition.  This began my journey of finding my authentic self, in the wake of a difficult, confusing time.  It forced me to get to the gym and learn new ways of working out through lifting weights.  It forced me to change my eating habits, I actually had to eat, eat a lot, healthfully, and often.

Secondly, and more importantly, I changed my drive, passion and perspective.  I decided to live life with purpose.  I went from what I believed was my perfectly designed routine in my perfect life, to realizing that there was more to life than being alive; I needed to feel alive.  Setting that goal of competing, following through with it and being successful in my first show ignited my flame.  I broke through my glass ceiling and have been learning and growing from it ever since.

Change will come.  So when it does, or if it has, what is a way that you can grow?  The answer is different for everyone.  For some, it comes easy and for others it takes time.  The trick is realizing that you simply need to start with something.  If you’re feeling like you’re in a rut, or you’ve been going through a difficult time, now is your opportunity to grow.  Don’t spend too long looking for the perfect solution or the right answer, just start.  Start with something that makes you happy, it can be as simple as a daily walking routine, starting a social group, or picking up that hobby you’ve been considering.

Did I mention it's worth it?
Did I mention it’s worth it?

You’ll be surprised with how simply starting can initiate growth in ways you did not anticipate.  For me, it started as a goal but soon transcended to just about every level of my life.  I found my passion, which brought me fulfillment and purpose.  Losing Claire was the hardest thing I’ve ever been through, but now I look back on it and thank her for teaching me the value of living.  What lessons can you learn from changes in your life, and how can you grow as a person from them?  This all relates back to the journey of finding your authentic self.  We all have different reasons why we began the journey, but if you’re reading this blog, you’re probably already on your way.  If you need that extra shove, here it is!  Get out there and start doing something that makes you happy.  Take the next step for YOU.

Change is inevitable, growth is optional.   -John Maxwell

3 thoughts on “Growing Pains

  1. I like John Maxwell. I’ve read and listened to his audio books. I’ve been reading these kinds of books and setting goals for about 2 years now…its amazing what you can do when you set your mind to it.


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