Posted on April 27, 2020

Rebuilding Yourself Step #2: Grow.

When you’re in a dark place, you sometimes tend to think you’ve been buried. Perhaps you’ve been planted. Bloom.Christine Caine

These powerful words have resonated with me on so many levels. I have been on either side of the mindset, and I can proudly say that I’ve emerged stronger and more resilient than ever. It’s all a matter of perspective when rebuilding yourself.

After much self-reflection, I now realize that the hardship I’ve endured in my life has taught me how to let go of what I cannot control in order to become a better individual for my own personal growth and for everyone I care about as well. I am still on my journey, but that is a story for another time.

Remember, before you can blossom you must allow yourself to grow. This can be a very painful and at times messy process, but it is necessary. If you are psychologically confined to a small space, you will never see your full growth potential. Ultimately, it is the best decision not only for yourself but everyone you interact with and to help contribute towards society as a whole. If you are not learning, it is impossible to continue growing.

As I mentioned previously, the first step requires self-reflection and looking inward. You must do this with complete honesty and humility if you expect to discover the truth. Once you have completed your research about yourself, then you will have the necessary tools towards making changes that will enable more favorable conditions for growing and building upon your foundation.

Find a Balance

Think of it as planting a seed; in order for the seed to grow it requires the proper combination of water, nutrients, and sunlight. You must sustain yourself with a balance of positive influence not only from your internal thoughts and actions but externally as well.

Take inventory of those whom you surround yourself with. If they are nourishing, inspiring, and uplifting you can confidently say that they are a positive force to be treasured in your life. Do your best to reciprocate the same energy and commitment to them as well, showing gratitude and love with every opportunity you have available. 

However, if you find yourself being pulled down or drained of energy, you should re-evaluate the relationship. Do not allow others to hold you back from your potential, no matter the circumstance. Relationships can either be a blessing or a burden. If they do not add value to your life and they are preventing you from flourishing; they are in turn stifling your personal growth, and it may be time to pull out the weeds. Maybe it was once something that had served you well in the past and perhaps you had grown comfortable, but if it is no longer benefiting you as an individual on your journey of rebuilding yourself, then you must learn to let go if you want to grow.

Clear a Path

Many plants and trees grow stronger and healthier once they are pruned of dead branches, much like you will as well after removing the burden of negativity and toxicity from your life. Think of it as spring cleaning for your well being. Once you rid yourself of this emotional decay, you will have an overwhelming sense of freedom and happiness that you may have never experienced before this moment.

Releasing poison is rewarded by clarity and relief; similar to taking a breath of fresh air for the first time after escaping the smog. Now that you’ve cleared the way, you have the opportunity to focus on what really matters while channeling your energy into what brings you joy.

What is preventing us from being happy and joyful? Perhaps they are ideas and notions of happiness. This is the main obstacle to our happiness. Practice is bringing a piece of paper out and writing down all our ideas of happiness.Thich Nhat Hanh

Trust me, eliminating anxiety and casting off the unnecessary weight from your shoulders is well worth the temporary pain. Not to mention, as an added benefit, you and others who truly value your worth as an individual will be so very proud of you for taking that leap and pushing yourself in the right direction.

It won’t be easy. Do not stop. Do not look back. Learn from your mistakes, acknowledge your aspirations, and continue taking actionable steps towards success. Never have second thoughts when doing what is best for you. You made the right decision by rebuilding yourself. Keep growing and moving forward.

If you missed the first post in this three-part series, click here to view step 1 of rebuilding yourself. To learn more about the inspirational teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh, check out the Plum Village website.