Personal · Spirituality

Growing Pains

By nature, I have always been a very private person. Keep to myself, don’t share too much, always minding my own business. But recently I’ve been doing some soul-searching and have come to the conclusion that being a little open is okay – you never know who can benefit from hearing your story. I’m not talking about a full blown dossier into the Life and Times of Danielle, but a bit of transparency can be a good way to cleanse the mental palate.

So in the spirit of translucency, my Personal tab here is going to be a little more…personal.  While that is equal parts scary and liberating, I think it will help turn this blog into the place I want it to be: an open, chic, authentic niche in the internet.

And I’ll admit it. I’ve been feeling a little inspired lately.

Growth is a never ending journey. If you’re living the way you’re meant to, you will never “achieve” a level of growth that you should stop at; after all, we’re not here for eternity, and this is just a stopping place in the realm of our existence. Not going to get too deep on that in this post though. Just bare with me.

I have been on the path I am currently on for about 3 years now, after my being baptized in 2013. It has been a hard 3 years. I have stumbled. I have fallen. I have become so frustrated with myself and my mistakes that I let negativity take over for brief periods of time. But when I look at where I was – WHO I was – 5 years ago, and compare her to now? There is no denying that my spirit has been transformed.

This is good. This is growth.

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We live in a world that is constantly trying to tear our souls apart. There is an obvious hunger in society for all things superficial, all things temporary, all things pleasurable – it would be foolish to act as though these temptations do not exist. I have fallen down the rabbit hole of bad decisions before: one bad decision just makes it easier to make another one, and another one. Until they finally stop seeming so “bad”. After all, everyone else is doing it.

The key is not to deny that there are temptations; the key is to conquer them. When you start to think about why you’re doing certain things, going certain places, acting certain ways, you start to realize that those patterns are not really fulfilling you at all. In fact, they are hindering you from becoming the best version of yourself. The appeal in that old behavior diminishes, and you start to uncover the reality of who you are and what makes you truly happy.

Growing will hurt. Growing will be hard. It’s difficult to break away from people who are close to you. It’s hard saying no to doing things that have become natural to you. But that is why they are called “growing pains” – if it didn’t hurt, it would mean we were comfortable, and nothing progressive comes out of comfortability.

The past 3 years have been a whirlwind for me, both emotionally and spiritually. I have had trouble with breaking old habits. I have found it difficult to cut people off who make me laugh and smile. I have gotten into relationships with people that were unhealthy and temporary. But I have also realized that there is a tremendous freedom in saying no, and it is incredibly rewarding when I am able to evaluate a situation and realize it’s one I need to get out of. This is growth – when you change your pattern of behavior for the better due to learned experience.

I look forward to the growing pains to come.

 

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Shot by: @visualist412
xoxo,

 

Dani

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