“True growth is a process which one allows to happen rather than causes to happen.” ~ Gerald G. May, Addiction and Grace …
Many of us attempt to control our lives–our environments, our interactions with others, our experiences and the outcomes of those experiences, and anything else that affects our perceptions and our experiences in this world. But here, Gerald is telling us not to do this as it is a contradiction to true and authentic growth–instead of trying to seek out the lessons that we want to experience, we should let go of our desire to control life and allow it to bring to us the lessons we need; rather than focusing solely on the things we feel are important at the time, we should let life draw us in. Life will present us with all sorts of wonderful lessons that will help us to grow and develop in mind, body, and spirit, but we must be willing to trust it and pay attention to what it is saying to us.
Our limited perspectives prevent us from choosing the lessons we need. For instance, if we do not understand the importance of being able to communicate effectively with those in our lives, but do not wish to let others inside the wall we have put up to defend ourselves, then we will never learn that lesson on our own. In addition, if we do not know or understand something, then how are we going to know that we are supposed to learn it or that we need that lesson to grow into the person we were created to be? Often times it is nearly impossible for us to see that we need to grow in a certain area of our lives without life sending us a lesson that reveals what we need.
Of course, the lessons life presents us with are only the first step–we must be aware of them, make the effort to discern what it is life is telling us, and then choose to make that a part of who we are. That is where the growing begins. When we plant a seed in the ground, we do not make it grow; we simply provide the conditions necessary for the seed to germinate and develop into a plant, flower, or tree of some sort. And in a similar way, we, by becoming more aware and accepting of life, create conditions in which love, kindness, compassion, and wisdom can grow. Even after the conditions are good, we still cannot force any of these things to grow–we can only accept the conditions, then nurture them and allow them to flourish within until they flower or bear fruit.
Be open to the lessons life offers you.
Questions to consider:
Why do so many of us try to control every element of our lives instead of letting go and accepting what life sends our way?
How might you go about creating the conditions inside yourself for positive things to grow?
What are three areas of growth that you’d like to see in yourself? Are the conditions optimal for such growth to occur?
For further thought:
“The great thing about life is that as long as we live we have the privilege of growing. We can learn new skills, engage in new kinds of work, devote ourselves to new causes, make new friends, if only we will exercise a little initiative and refuse to become fixed, rigid, and psychologically arteriosclerotic before our time.” ~ Joshua Loth Liebman, Peace of Mind