It happened again. I fell back. Back into patterns and old habits. Again!
I thought I had learned a better way. I thought I had figured it out.
I had spent 6 intensive days immersed in a life changing conference and I walked away from that with a newness I couldn't quite explain. I had so much more insight into my life, my way of thinking, and the depths of my soul. I had this beautiful new outlook, I had forgiven past pain, and I had created a new model of my life. I even had a poster created and it was hanging on the back of my office door to remind me of all the impactful and incredible things that I had learned. I knew life would never be the same.
But then I got home. And something happened. Nothing big. Just life. Then another thing happened. Then another. And after a few things happening, I realized that I was falling back down into my old habits again. Habits and patterns of reacting with stress and frustration when something was out of my control, rather than breathing through it from a place of love.
Carrying this stress, I wanted to cry.
I had new tools and I knew what it felt like to feel clarity of the personal growth I had gained. I knew that feeling and I wanted it in my life. All.The.Time.
Yet there I was spiraling down into a hole of self pity, guilt and shame because I had fallen down again. Because after only 6 days of learning these new habits, I did not have them down perfectly yet. Can you believe that? Can you believe that I was having a hard time breaking the patterns that I had been living for nearly 44 years of my life? What was wrong with me?!?!?
While sitting in meditation one morning, I asked the question;
"Why, after learning all of these new tools, is it so easy to fall back down again?"
And as soon as I asked it, I felt the response: "To help you learn how to get back up - faster".
I sat there, pondering the power and simplicity of this statement. And it brought me back to painful memory of watching my children learn how to walk for the first time. Of how many times they fell down over and over again. To watch them struggle to find their balance and fall yet again, sometimes so hard they would get bumps and bruises.
And yet, with every fall, came the opportunity for each of them to learn how to get back up on their own. It had to be on their own. Otherwise they would never have the strength they needed to take that step.
The more they fell down, the more practice they got at getting back up. They got stronger. They learned balance. They learned determination. They learned how to get back up on their own.
They couldn't skip any steps in their development. There is an order to growth and progress.
One can learn how to walk, but not before they can stand.
They learn to stand, but not before they have the strength to balance.
They can learn strength and balance, but not before they have learned how to pull themselves up first, and get off the ground.
They learn to pull themselves up, but not before they have the strength to crawl.
They learn to crawl, but not before they have the strength to push themselves up on their hands and knees.
They learn to push themselves up, but not before they can roll over.
They learn to roll over, but not until they can have the strength to hold their heads up -etc. etc....
This is the process to growth. It can be long. It can be messy. It can be painful. But eventually, you learn and what once was a struggle becomes something you overcome. And it gets easier. Autopilot even. Do you even think about how much effort it once took to walk anymore?
Pondering my life, and my old habits and patterns, I am able to see it differently now. I see that I am being given the opportunity to learn to get back up, faster and faster. And that it takes practice. It doesn't mean that each step is going to be easy, or amazing even. But every time I fall down, I have the chance to learn from it. I get another chance to learn to balance and stand on my own. And always, always, I grow stronger.
Understanding this has given me the opportunity to take a step back and have self love and grace for myself. To understand that it is all a part of the journey - each and every step. It is all vital to my growth. It is not happening to me. It is all happening for me.
So, as I fall back a step, or even fall flat on my face, I will once again take a deep breath in and let that breath out. I push myself back up and I am getting stronger in doing so. And when I fall down again, I get back up even faster. And when I fall down again, I get back up even faster.
And as I do so, I will pour love into my soul. For each step of growth - each step of getting back up - each step of finding strength - each step of learning new habits and patterns - each step is FOR me. Whether that is a tiny baby step, a leap forward, or even a fall backwards. I am learning to love myself every step of the way.
Have patience with yourself my friend. Trust the process.
The light within me honors and sees the light within you. ~Namaste