Opening and Expanding
Personal growth is ultimately about self-understanding. Many of us haven’t had the opportunity to pause and become connected to our wants and needs. We learn early that in order to make it, we have to hustle for our worth. Personal work puts the breaks on doing. It’s not something static that we master once and for all. By nature, it’s an evolving process. However, in order to get a handle on it, we need to slow down. While therapy can be indispensable during pivotal phases, it also serves a vital role in living a fulfilling life.
Not everyone who seeks therapy is in a state of crisis or pain. Our potential for growth, change and understanding is endless. Plus, the desire to live a life of purpose, happiness and connection are equally important reasons to see a therapist. Granted, a big part of who we are is fixed. So why not work on accepting who we are and loving who we see? Self-acceptance is an invaluable part of human development. It’s not a fancy idea or a complicated concept which lies somewhere in the future. But to understand it at the deepest level, we must quiet the mind.
Midlife is a classic example of a good time to seek therapy for personal growth. From the outside, everything looks good, yet the feeling inside tells a different story. It’s a time when the universe gently places her hands upon your shoulders, pulls you close, and whispers in your ear:
It’s time. All of this pretending and performing – these coping mechanisms that you’ve developed to protect yourself from feeling inadequate and getting hurt – has to go. Your armor is preventing you from growing into your gifts. I understand that you needed these protections when you were small. I understand that you believed your armor could help you secure all of the things you needed to feel worthy and lovable, but you’re still searching and you’re more lost than ever. Time is growing short. There are unexplored adventures ahead of you. You can’t live the rest of your life worried about what other people think. The time has come to let go of who you think you’re supposed to be and embrace who you are. (Brené Brown)
Although life may be limited in years, our potential for growth, change and understanding is endless. But that potential can only be fulfilled when we know how to be still, when we know how to let go of all the things we think we know and think we ought to know, and simply rest the mind, free from judgement.