Stomach Churning Growth

[mk_dropcaps style="fancy-style"]H[/mk_dropcaps]ave you ever felt insulted by the comment “People never change!”  I have.  I know it isn't intended to be offensive but let me explain. Thinking back to who I was 8 years ago, I can confidently say I’m not the same person today as I was back then.  What about you?  Do you feel your response to situations that would have normally gotten a heated response roll off your back?  Do you find your level of patience with people has shifted?  Are you more confident when you speak in front of a group of people?  All of these examples and many more are indicators that we can and do change.  

I understand the sentiment behind that saying that “people never change” however I think a better saying would be “You can’t change people.”  No matter how hard you try you are not the one that is in control of another’s growth, only they are.  The reason being is it’s a choice.  One that takes a lot of courage. In helping people with their physical health now for the better part of 12 years I can say the one thing that separates those who truly do grow and change are those who are willing to.  There are many factors that contribute to this, but I believe a large part is due to the fact that we have unrealistic expectations of the process of growth when we start out in our journey.

We believe we can make strides to lasting change in a matter of a few weeks and at most a couple months.  We expect results to come at an increasingly exponential rate (nothing will slow them down or hinder them because this time we are never going to cheat or stray from the plan).  We believe that since we know what it takes all we need is the time to make it happen. It becomes an equation A+B+C=lasting results.

I wish this was true.  But there are no short cuts.  Roadblocks and obstacles are inevitable.  You will make mistakes.  I sure have and continue to.  It is time to make peace with this reality.  However there is still great hope. 

My prayer is today that we both become free from unrealistic expectations of what your journey of growth will look like and how we will respond.  That we would take a deep breath and know the journey wont be easy or perfect and that is ok.  We are not crushed in the process rather we are refined.  Why is this?  Because real growth in any arena looks eerily familiar to hard work and perseverance.  It is not linear, though the more you do it the easier it gets.  With transformation can come emotions you thought you’d out grown. Each step you take can exponentially increase the discomfort, the uncertainty and become more disorienting.  Not because you're on the wrong path, but because you’re on the right path going somewhere you have never been before, growing in ways you never thought possible.  My friend, real lasting change is hard because it requires us all to humble ourselves to realize we can’t do it alone, perfect or with short cuts. It takes risk and the certainty of failure.  

It makes me sick thinking of it.  Transformation is stomach churning. Growth is painful.  However, like a really good workout that you may even despise it while you’re in it, the value of it is unquestionable.  You may wish it was over by now, but once it is there is such a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction you wonder why you were so nervous when you started. That is what life is about.  Not the accomplishments themselves.  More so the real weight goes to what is drawn out of us within the process of getting there.  My friend today do whatever you need to do to once and for all reconcile in your heart what expectations you have of your growth.  Are they realistic?  Are they really yours?  Your journey will not look like mine.  I hope it doesn't for our purposes are different.  The last question we all must address is this.  Growth comes at a price.  Do you dare to pay it?