If you’ve been reading this blog for a while or are getting my Move Into Change newsletters, you already know how much I adore Cheryl Strayed. This quote comes from Tiny Beautiful Things, a small book whose outsized compassion and powerful writing knocks me out every time. It’s a must.
The above quote reminds me of two foundational aspects of personal growth that I forget to talk about sometimes.
1) The right to grow is in our very nature. We often think that we have to prove to someone that we have it – but we don’t. A gazillion years ago, Byron Katie told me that if I thought of myself as the tree outside my window, it would be simple to understand my own worth and then get out of my own way. I never forgot it.
Now I know she meant that to participate in and contribute to the ongoing creation of life as it moves forward from moment to moments is our birthright. Trees don’t question it, so maybe we don’t need to, either.
2) The moment when I recognized that I wasn’t showing up in my own life was the precise moment II began to grow up. Don’t ask me how old I was…
Recognizing that we all must do this for ourselves is basic, yet so many of us resist. Looking for others to do for us that which we refuse to do for ourselves leads only to disappointment, anxiety, isolation and a a profound sense of loss. Attempting to teach other people (like our children) how to do this is futile unless we live it first. By the way, all things I llearned the hard way.
Do not misunderstand, I don’t mean that we shouldn’t ask for help or trust others to support us. If we lack the core ability to show up for our real needs, it doesn’t matter how many people love us (or how much external pampering we give ourselves), we’ve left the person who really matters (us) by the side of the road. And nothing, can make up for that.
So, grow yourself and don’t forget that you can carry the water.