Friends and neighbors, it is indeed a brand new year! And I have heard so many say, “Thank God the old year has passed because it was not a good year for me at all!” And believe me, I can appreciate that statement. 2012 was a rough year for many. For me, it was rather difficult in many ways. There were trials and circumstances that I would have preferred not to have gone through. But in the same breath, I would not trade the tribulations I dealt with for when viewed in the proper context, those situations caused me to grow in ways I could not have otherwise. In past years, I cheated myself of opportunities to grow because I refused to embrace the problems which beset me. Growth is often a painful process because it involves change and we tend to avoid pain at all costs. It is a survival instinct, I suppose. The sad part is that when we turn away from the growth process because of the pain of change, the end result that we receive is that we simply survive. We do not and cannot live fully the Life that our Creator would have us to live. I am learning this now and am more apt to reach out and embrace that unfavorable circumstance or difficulty. Do I do so because I enjoy pain? Not hardly. It is just that I know now there is the reward of growth at the end of that troublesome road. And the feeling one receives from achieving personal growth is a feeling like no other. Have you ever noticed a flower when it is full bloom, brilliant and beautiful in its color? Or what of a tree, fully and magnificently clothed in green? These are everyday miracles of our world. Now, what if that tree or that flower did not go through the process necessary for growth? The answer is quite obvious, isn’t it? Without a growth process, all things will die. My friend, we are no different from the beauty of nature that is round’ about us each day.
By turning our back on the growth process set before us, we die inside. Not all at once, to be sure. It is a gradual and almost insidious process which is what makes it a danger. Each time we back away from a problem or challenge because we know of the potential for pain, our refusal to do so causes yet another small tear in the fabric of our Spirit. Over time, we allow so many of these to occur that the strength of Spirit we possess initially simply unravels as it slowly but surely gets torn apart. And I will say this as well since we are on the subject…….Sewing back together the fabric that comprises our Spirit is a very difficult job and it takes a great deal of time and effort to accomplish this. I know of what I speak.
So in reality, when we choose not to grow and change because we see the potential pain involved and wish to avoid it, what are we really doing in the end? In the short-term, we cheat ourselves of experiencing the grand feeling of having our hearts and spirits bloom and burst forth into splendid color and fullness. I should also state that when we grow, change and bloom, those around us benefit and are blessed directly. And needless to say, in blessing others we are blessed in return and in greater abundance. It is a universal and scriptural law or as Kermit the Frog would say, “It is the way of it”. And what are the long-term effects of walking away from growth and change? Quite simply put, we must work twice as hard to become as we would’ve been. That is unless we simply allow the death of our Spirit and waste the gift of Life and all that is precious within us. And there are many in our world who do just that. You see them everyday as you move through your life. It’s so sad really.
Oh, I should say as well that not all growth and change has turmoil and pain attached to it. It is just that with we humans, (myself included!) the only time we become willing to change and therefore grow is when the pain of not changing exceeds the pain of change. We are really such silly people when you think about it in that light, yes?
In closing, I would say this to myself and to all those reading these words. It is indeed a brand new year! Allow yourself to bask in the beauty of the gift of a new beginning for a few moments so as to truly appreciate it. Then, keep your eyes open wide and look for ways and opportunities to grow and to change. Realize going in that there will be undoubtedly some discomfort and yes, even pain involved in the process. What is the old adage? “Forewarned is forearmed”? When one is aware of something up front, it is so much easier not to be surprised by it. Wouldn’t you agree? Make it a part of you to view growth and all it entails as an adventure, not as something that must be dealt with, a task which must be completed. This new year, this 2013 we have been given, promises to be an exciting time. Will it be a time of challenges as well? Yes, it will and you may count on it. But it will also be a time for abundant growth and a time when we, individually as well as collectively can blossom and bring vibrant color and a new fullness to our world! Does this excite you, my friends? Let us go hence and make this 2013 an excellent year!
Good evening to all those who have taken the time to review these words. I hope what has been written was worthy of your time. And as I have said in the past, if what you have read caused you to think a bit, then this is a good thing. But please, please apply what you have read to your respective lives and be sure to bless those around you as well daily. Take care and be blessed in your day!
Authored by William J. Thompson, Jr