Growing Pains: The Challenge with Change

We Can't Heal in the Same Environment That Got Us Sick Whenever someone gives their life to God, goes to rehab, gets a job, enters the real world, overcomes a trial, or makes a conscious effort to be successful, then their mindset should change. Why? Because there is an immense level of insight that comes forth from experiencing success, loss, depression, or even pain. They act as a mirror to our lives and make evident the importance of self-analysis, change, and growth. Unfortunately, people say “you’ve changed” as if it’s an insult or something we should be ashamed of.

As long as we’re aimlessly coasting through life, in a state of confusion, needing approval and following the crowd, we’re great and liked by everyone. However, whenever we stop entertaining the people, conversations, music, fashions, and events that fit the norm but don't stimulate our growth, then people get uneasy and very confused. We can't do the same things and expect different results. The people, places, and things we entertain either stifle or contribute to our growth, passion, or interests. If we want a change in ourselves, our lives, and our influence, we have to commit to making different choices. We have to embrace and live out change we want to see and be.

It’s not an issue of being judgmental, bougie, or antisocial. It’s a conscious decision to not put ourselves in a position or emotional state that we don’t want to or have to be in. If it’s not going to stimulate our growth mentally, spiritually, professionally, or positively affect us or our families, then we really have absolutely no desire to give the slightest ounce of our energy or attention to it. It’s extremely exacerbating whenever we feel like we’re giving our all to grow into an elevated stage of your life, yet the people around us seem to feel no need to level up or disregard your effort to pursue another path.

We now consciously refrain from being around, hearing or entertaining anyone or anything that will negatively affect us. People can miss us with the recounts of drama, gossip, or how miserable someone is because they refuse to try to change things for the better. It’s draining, it’s annoying, and we are done feeling consumed by it. If that means that we are viewed as less favorable or fun to other people, so be it. We begin to acknowledge that the characters in your previous chapters, don’t appear to fit in, or want to fit in, the upcoming story line we envision for ourselves.

Rise With the Wise Time invested, routines, and worrying about the overall perception of others serve as a chain. We struggle with discerning the difference between support and stagnation, and face hardships when trying to let go of the influences, interactions, and interests that no longer serve us as good or enjoyable. Accepting that some friendships, views, and activities have expiration dates makes for an uncomfortable and sensitive time. 

Truth is, we can’t have butterfly conversations with caterpillar people. In other words, if they’ve never been transformed or matured spiritually, professionally, or mentally, then they are more likely to reject or downplay the sensitivity and importance of undergoing down times, lessons, and change. We may have been where they are or thought like they did, but we have since moved on. People can only understand things up to their levels of perception and it's not our job to convince people to accept or like the people we are working to become.

Same Eyes, Different Views Our new and improved mindsets, views, and appearances are viewed and happily accepted as some, and disliked and rebuked by others. What we tend to forget is that change isn’t only difficult and confusing for us, but also for those that are a part of our lives. They’re seemingly losing the person they’ve grown to know and love through the years. The conversations, activities, and commonalities we once shared with them have been altered in some form or fashion.

Moreover, they don’t know where to meet us halfway because they don’t know where halfway is now. It causes feelings of tension and even rejection for those who can’t wrap their minds around the whole concept and frustration for us because it seems that no one understands. It appears that some struggle to realize that just because something is unfamiliar, it doesn't deem it fake, but one thing is certain: If they constantly remind us where we've been, we certainly won't take them where we are going. People may not have seen a problem with who or where we were before, but that doesn't change the fact that we learned and know that a change was coming and needed for us to progress.

I think it's safe to say that my journey of wanting and working toward change came by way of pain, like many peoples' do. Accepting and addressing my mental, physical, and spiritual inadequacies changed a plethora of things in my life, but most obvious to myself and circle was my renewed mindset and boundaries when it came to influence. I went from being a people pleaser that would always go with the flow and wanted acceptance to someone that refused to entertain people, places, or things that I didn't want to. I went from needing constant validation and acceptance to unapologetically praising and serving the one that deserves it. Many outfits were donated and replaced with a style that matched my improved lifestyle and my once favorite genres of music were replaced with songs that had more positive and acceptable messages. Events, pity parties, and ego trips I once attended, I now decline.

My motivation to change and put up stricter boundaries didn't come from a place of selfishness or ill intent. It came from a place of self care and realignment. Some of my friends and family accept, understand, and are proud of my change, while others can't seem to like, mesh, or align with the person I am becoming and I'm okay with that. Change is not about being comfortable or being the most liked person in the room. It's about growing and leveling up to the person I'm supposed to be. I may still have a ways to go, but I have confidence in the person that change is creating.

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