The Pattern of Personal Growth

Have you ever noticed how your greatest moments of personal growth occur?

There’s a pattern to it, I’m convinced.

First, a challenge. A challenging life circumstance or situation. Something comes at us sideways when we least expect it. A loss. Break up. Health problem. We don’t feel equipped to handle it, yet somehow we do. We’re faced with an obstacle and we pull through.

But we haven’t grown yet.

Next comes vulnerability. We share our experience of this challenge with another person. In all of our raw honesty, we open ourself up to another. We share in our weaknesses and by doing so, we experience vulnerability.

Then we reflect. Only after a difficult challenge and shared vulnerability, can we pause to really reflect about what exactly we’ve just been through. What we’ve grown through. How we’ve grown. And in our reflection, finally, our great moment of personal growth arrives. Clothed in compassion and humility. Void of all judgment. An “Aha” moment.

Challenge. Vulnerability. Reflection. In that order.

I believe that all of our greatest personal growth experiences follow this pattern.

Anxious Thinking

“Don’t let anxious thinking replace vulnerable feelings.”

It’s Personal!

“If you want to make a difference, the next time you see someone being cruel to another human being, take it personally. Take it personally because it is personal!” – Brene Brown

Own and Embrace Your Story

“Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it.

Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy–the experiences that make us the most vulnerable.

Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.”

-Brene Brown

Let Love Know You’re There (A Poem)

We cultivate love when we allow
our most vulnerable selves to be seen and known.
Love is not something that we give or get;
it is something that we nurture and grow.

Withholding of affection,
disrespect, betrayal and blame
damage the roots from which love grows
and hurt the place from which it came.

Love can only survive these injuries
if they’re acknowledged, healed, and rare.
So put down your ego, put in the work,
and let love know you’re there.

“How strange that we should ordinarily feel compelled to hide our wounds when we are all wounded! Community requires the ability to expose our wounds and weaknesses to our fellow creatures. It also requires the ability to be affected by the wounds of others… But even more important is the love that arises among us when we share, both ways, our woundedness.”
― M. Scott Peck

Secrets: The Great Barrier to Love

The problem with secrets is they isolate you. They’re like the Great Wall between your heart and others. And the only way to get through this wall is to open the door. Sounds simple but for many, it is not. Openness, transparency, honesty, and vulnerability are the gateways to genuine love (to which secrets are the barrier).

Advice on Love

I want you to know joy, so together we will practice gratitude.

I want you to feel joy, so together we will learn how to be vulnerable.

Thought for the Day

I wonder what would happen if people starting posting their personal prayer requests as status updates. Certainly, we’d all grow closer through the process of vulnerability. And possibly, Facebook could become a community of prayer warriors!

What We Can Learn from Puppies and Babies

The more you try to impress people, the more you separate yourself from them. Vulnerability attracts love. Just look at puppies, or babies, everybody loves them.

puppy1Lovely-Baby