Growth! I talk about growth so much here, and I still think I can never say enough about it. There are so many times when I am experiencing a challenge I go like, “I wish I was a kid again. It was much simpler then.” Then I think back and I’m like, “Probably not.” I remember wishing I was a grown up back then, because the challenges I experienced at that point were also not so much fun. It never gets easier as you grow older (adulting), but experience gives us the illusion that the challenges in our past could have been much easier than what we’re experiencing now. That in itself is growth.
Even the way my thought process was set up! I shudder at the thought. Growth has played such a big part in changing my perspectives about pretty much everything. So much so, nowadays, I will take my time before I judge someone or a situation. For someone to be the way they are, who they are or do what they do, it’s because they are a sum of their experiences, most of which we’re not privy to. I was having a conversation with my friends about this and we collectively agreed that before you judge, seek to understand. And depending on the situation, you can do that when you are still in the arena or as a spectator.
Mostly because I have made mistakes, some big and some stupid (face-palm); I have been wrong about things that I thought I was so right about and I adamantly pursued/defied (another face-palm); I have had a taste of what it means to be in the trenches. Thankfully, I have been in spaces where I have been pulled out from those trenches fast enough that I didn’t experience the adversity of it. But I have seen what those trenches can do to you, I was aware of that and I anticipated it, because who knows? I never knew I would be pulled out fast enough, if at all. I never knew the world would be kind to me, but it was.
There is a time I used to think that being vulnerable is being weak. That someone openly wanting to talk about their flaws or failures or incapacities, is them exposing themselves to an unforgiving world. A world that will judge you based on what you deliver in the end or the flowery things you say about yourself and not necessarily the details in between that are not so flattering. A world that will define you based on merits – your looks, the schools you went to, the marks you got, the people you know, but give no attention to the demerits, yet sometimes it’s the demerits that you constantly have to improve to make a better you.
Now, the reason I believe that anyone pulled me out from the trenches when they did, because I’ve had so many hands reach out to me, is because I chose to be vulnerable. Being vulnerable now means something completely different to me, it means courage and acceptance of self. It means that I have accepted that this is where I am at this moment and I am going to say it as it is. Say what I am experiencing as I am experiencing it, say what I am feeling as I am feeling it, and say what I am thinking as I am thinking it. No shame in my game! That’s me!
Growth is teaching me that when you sugar coat something, the sugar eventually wears off and you’re still left with the bitter pill anyway. Click To Tweet
Same applies with your life, if you sugar coat your life with all the flowery things, when what you have inside is just pain, bitterness, and struggle; it wears off and you’re just left bare with those things that you’re trying to conceal. And you will still have to deal with them, anyway. I say, it’s honourable to be vulnerable. Find spaces where people actually find it normal to be vulnerable and not use it as an opportunity to attack you or judge you or insult you. Click To Tweet In that space, people will stretch out their hands to you, because they they know that you need that hand. So if you don’t say it, no one will know you need a hand, an ear, a tight hug, a word of encouragement or even a healthy banter.
You’re human, so you’re not always expected to have it all together. Maybe our lives are just about us trying to have it together. Isn’t it always one thing after another? Who knows.