Growth Is Non-Linear

by Ellen Tran 2 years ago in coping

Finding My Center

Growth Is Non-Linear

Picture an outward moving spiral circling, growing larger, like a ripple in a body of water. At the top of this spiral is joy and at the bottom is depression. Traveling through this spiral, momentum builds as you reach the top. The view is infinite, and your hopes the same, but on the way down you plummet quickly and deeply into hopelessness.

This is what my personal growth has felt like the past 8 years but as I move up and down, I still grow. It surely isn't a victorious climb up a mountain of success. It's a wheel that turns and turns, and I'm glued to one end. There's no control. At the top when spirits are high I'm making to-do lists, creating vision boards, pouring money into tools that I believe will create my newest and greatest project yet.

"This is what I'm meant to do. I'm sure of it. I've found it!"

In the deep end I lie on the couch letting my mind slip away into the moving scenery on the tv screen. I could escape this world and experience another life because I don't want to be in mine. Too many choices and decisions to make. I don't believe I can and I won't commit. I settle for mediocrity.

It's a natural cycle that humankind is forced to go through. The wheel of fortune doesn't follow a command. Like nature, it does what's necessary for growth and equilibrium. Essentially, the goal is to get centered. In the center of the wheel of life is where one can find peace. But of course, the vulnerability you have to others and their energy keeps you stuck, and unable to control what happens. People and situations affect your feelings and in turn, carry your decisions. This leaves your psychic defenses down enabeling external forces to drag you along for the ride.

As humans we spend most of our time thinking; listening to our thoughts, constantly rationalizing, and placing things in their category. It dictates how we act, and we're all interpreting everything at a different pace through different lenses of experience. There's no way you can find freedom in such an intricate mind maze with the blind leading the blind. The only way to shine a guiding light down the tunnel is by beginning to separate from the mind, and start looking within.

After years of false starts, and neglected projects, figuring my life out left me deeply frustrated and confused. I wished to be better. To be incredible at that one thing, anything! I kept searching for a solution outside of myself. Pushing to be something I thought I should be, and what others wanted me to be. In desperation, I unknowingly began a process of stripping away my constructed views and within this process I found something greater. The notion that my heart can give me the answers that I'm seeking. The idea that studying myself, the true self, rather than looking outwards I could realize my path, and what I'm meant to do.

Learning to listen to your heart feels a bit loony, and ultimately mysterious. It carries me somewhere I'm not quite sure of, but there is a deep longing for its divine caress. The sweet fulfillment of peace and awareness. It's the real thing. The unconditional love we spend our whole lives searching for. Not attachment to another, but a wholeness of being. Observing myself through clearer lenses I sometimes feel that I haven't changed much. I have the same impulses and reactions in my daily life, interacting with people, old and new. Now I only feel more aware of it. I get this sense outside of myself that notices my lack of discipline. Immediately I hold my words and actions accountable, and I think to myself was I being selfish, annoying, or impulsive just now? I over-analyze past conversations to see where I could have stayed quiet, or said something better. And sure, the subject matter of my conversations have evolved, leaning towards more serious, and theological topics, but the incentive of my speaking remains the same. To fill space, call attention and feed into my ego. Being aware doesn't change much. Still, my desires drive my daily actions, growing further into bad habits and cycles. The wise choice always presents itself but the habits I've grown they taste so sweet. We're treated to strive for the desirable, to be desirable and attain the desirable. Not living for personal pleasure is what most would call suffering. Tearing away from the comfortability of normal can feel backwards. It takes great courage and discipline to step away from something you know and love to seek the unknown, not sure if what you're looking for is even real. But the heart knows what it wants, what you truly need and it will pull at you until you find yourself in the flow, fulfilling your destiny.

Ellen Tran
Ellen Tran
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