Dedicated to those who turn towards the growth and not away from it.
On Christmas Day, I hosted seven of my friends for dinner and before we dug into the collective effort of delicious food, there was some wonder as to what we would toast to. I, of course, already had an idea. Passing around a ceramic bowl filled with Angel Cards, (if you don’t know what they are, click here – everyone needs a deck in their life!) I asked everyone to pick a card and wait for further instruction.
The room was abuzz with curiosity as some people had never even seen Angel Cards, let alone understood their purpose. “Do we look at it?” “Should we hide it from everyone else?” I laughed at the easy discomfort amongst everyone as they all wondered what was next.
I asked each person to take a minute, look at their card and see what came up for them. Did the word resonate? Did it make them feel anything? What could they relate the card to in their life?
I worried about this as often times, at family functions – namely Thanksgiving – I recommend each person offer up – aloud - something for which they are grateful. The suggestion was usually met with resistance and the feeling that I was bringing the mood down. I didn’t want this for Christmas, but I felt so excited and grateful to be surrounded by such special people in my home, that I wanted to seal the deal with something that would connect us forever.
Ironically, I drew Purpose, which I took as a sign, to stick to mine.
As we went around the table, it became clear that my friends were on the same page of reflection and reception. There was Delight, Support, Gratitude, Truth, Tenderness, Sisterhood/Brotherhood and Faith. Everyone boldly shared their individual thoughts ranging from the need for more gratitude in their life to being ready to welcome tenderness into their workspace once again.
It was uplifting and as the conversation began with the group commiserating on what a crap year 2011 was, I started to see that perhaps this year and all its struggle had strong significance.
When I was nine, I remember whining to my father about the aches in my shins and feet.
“Those are growing pains,” he said, kindly, offering to massage away the pain.
“Growing pains?” I asked, happily stretching out my aching legs toward him.
“Your body is growing and sometimes, things don’t all grow at the same time. You’re getting taller, but your legs are still used to supporting someone smaller. Don’t worry, it will catch up at some point and the pain will go away. You’ll see.”
Looking around the table, I saw each person, myself included, in the midst of their own growing pains. Some needed to be more receptive in their lives. Others needed to be more assertive in their truth and purpose. It hadn’t been easy, but 2011 asked us all to push past our so-called limitations, create new boundaries and adapt accordingly.
I saw a lot of things change this past year – in my life and for those around me. There was death, break-ups, job loss and a boat-load of personal growth. As we approach the New Year, it would be naïve to think that on January 1st, everything resets, completely wiping away any trace of 2011. Instead, we can take the year soon to be behind us and use it as a launching point. Accept the pain that goes along with growth and don’t let it stop you. If you do, well, then the pain was really for naught.
What was that silly saying in the 80’s?
“No Pain No Gain.”
It’s time to focus on the gain, my friends, and as we go into 2012, be clear on what you’re leaving behind, but also know – I mean, really know – that it is just as important to recognize all the space you have in your life for possibility and potential.
As for me and my growing pains, I never went back to the shoes that no longer fit or the pants that became too short, because I grew. I didn’t have a choice either way. And when I finally hit full height, I forgot all about those growing pains because everything caught up. Let the growth of 2011 catch up to you and when it does, you’ll be just fine.
Happy New Year.