Growing Pains

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I think for all of us there comes a season in life in which we start to outgrow the people/places/things that grew us.

Maybe that day arrives with a sense of relief; a weight being lifted off of your shoulders. But maybe other times it can be more of a hard pill to swallow. I mean, you’ve given something your energy and have made it your whole focus… and then one day it simply stops serving you. You find yourself wanting to be around that person less or doing that thing less. You get less excited about it and maybe even feel a little obligated.

Obligation is a big red flag. If you’re starting to feel obligated, it’s probably a sign of growing pains.

But this is all normal and okay and necessary.

For me, lately I’ve been experiencing growing pains with running. I’ve ran three half marathons and several smaller races and have committed a lot of time and energy to training. I can’t quite wrap my head around why – all of the sudden – I simply could give a fuck less about running. It used to be something that I needed to do in order to maintain my preferred level of happiness, but now it’s more of an obligation. I really thought it would be something that I would do forever. I don’t understand it, nor do I need to. But in a sense, it’s kind of like outgrowing a friend. In a sense, running was my friend. It was something I could go and do when I was down & it always made me feel better. It was an outlet that helped me to grow and challenge myself. It was the first stage upon which I actually followed through with a goal that I set for myself. But now, it’s simply a chore.

I think it’s important to be aware of the things that we get caught up in keeping in our lives just because they were once really great.

It’s almost as if we get so hung up on the high that those people or that place or that activity used to give us, that we think we need to continue chasing that high.

Here’s a tip: if the high is gone, it’s time to push that thing out of the way in order to create space for a new, longer lasting, more satisfying kind of high.

We do the same thing with relationships; we keep people around just because at one point or another they were valuable. And maybe they’ll be valuable again one day, so let’s keep them on the back burner where we can easily access them…… WRONG. Doing that – keeping people on the back burner – takes up valuable space. Nothing new or better can come into your life when there isn’t space for it to do so.

We stay at jobs much longer than our souls are willing to tolerate just because of that little sliver of hope that it will get better. Maybe it will. But it’s a much better use of your time & energy to create the space for something better to drop in. Of course that comes with minor setbacks that may even include not having a job for a hot minute, but that is all part of the growing pains. You surrender and release one thing in order to take on something better.

It’s hard. It’s so hard, but it is so important to embrace those pains with grace.

It’s a good thing to notice growing pains weaving their way into the various avenues of your life. It means that you’ve changed. That you’re growing. The pains are there to nudge you into a different direction; one with a new amount of space to grow.

Maybe one day this platform won’t serve me or you anymore either, and I have to be okay with that. Change is a good thing, letting go is an even better thing. Of course, there is a moment (or a thousand moments) of grief. But it is soon replaced with something that you’ll find yourself wondering how you ever functioned without it.

Obligation is heavy. Put it down. You don’t have a second to waste in this life putting your energy towards something that is no longer the thing you’d hand pick to do for free for the rest of your life.

Growth is happening fast. This time & space is unlike any other in history. Things are manifesting & moving, FAST. My grammy used to tell me that I was growing up so fast that she was going to put a brick on my head to try to slow the process. I think she knew how ever-important it is to hang on to the things that matter & release those that don’t.

xo,

e&f

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