Growth comes through facing fears

 

 

I bumped into an old friend this morning. We’ve known each other for more than 30 years when we met as art students. During that time, we’ve been closer and further apart. In the last decade we’ve not had much contact at all.

The timing was perfect this morning for a good catch up.

Of course, life has had twists and turns, challenges and opportunities, highs and lows for us and our families. As we caught up about offspring, siblings, parents, partners, work the richness of both our lives shone through. And some themes emerged that strike me as relevant to how and why that richness in a life is created and sustained.

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We’ve both;
Pursued our passions
Worked hard
Appreciated good fortune
Been open to change
Taken risks
Kept going even when it wasn’t easy
Always looked-for ways to help other people
Stood up for what we believed in

It turns out these are the approaches we have passed onto our grown-up children too. My friend puts it beautifully: She tells her two “it’s all about navigation. Life happens, and you get to choose how you respond. You’ll get some things right and some things wrong and that’s life. It’s all ok. And when you get things wrong it doesn’t make you a bad person.”

These wise words are worth remembering for all of us. I can still give myself a hard time for past “mistakes” and when I do I feel stuck in regret and guilt and shame. Which is very disempowering. How much better to say, I did this, I learned that, I now know more about what I want and don’t want, and I’m better equipped to make new choices.

I recommend it.

 

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