Daring to Grow #MondayMusings

daringtogrow

It’s impossible,” said pride. “It’s risky,” said experience. “It’s pointless,” said reason.

Give it a try,” whispered the heart.

That’s one of the things that I remind myself every time I’m faced with a hurdle in life. As it happens, destiny always has a way of foiling my best laid plans. Even if I’m happily reconciled to my lot of living my uneventful (read mundane) ordinary life, I somehow find myself having to rise up to face some extraordinary challenges that fate seems to have ordained solely for me!

Yes, there is no escaping! Challenges mostly come on their own, even though I must admit that at times I have also invited them into my life. So, there are those challenges that have come to me without my asking and those that I’ve invited unto myself. The end result, however, is the same—I’m stuck in a situation from which seemingly there is no escape. Until, of course, I put my head together, gather my will power, force my nerves, muscles and sinew to march into the battlefield ahead, pretty much like Don Quixote leading the imaginary army, towards an unforeseeable fate.

But then, through all this, something truly extraordinary happens.

Through the most confusing, bewildering, darkest of moments, there appears wisdom, hope and light. And, as if by magic, something else comes to the fore—that quiet, soft voice that speaks to me through the silence of my soul, nudging me to do things that I’ve never done before, or face situations that seem too difficult to handle. It is never easy to be daring, but we all have it in us to challenge the status quo and dare to be different, to speak the truth as we follow the path to authentic living, to dare to challenge the limits set by others and begin to see things in order to think better, do better and live better—to dare to be who we really are, in a world that constantly slots you in predefined boxes and expects you to be like someone else. That is what challenges do to me.

I do not know any other way to grow in life because each time I’ve found myself in a tight spot, surrounded by impossible situations, I’ve discovered new aspects within myself and learnt to step into unknown territory, facing my fears right in the face. That’s how I’ve grown. The sum-total of all the hurt, the heartaches, the rejections, the  failures—they’ve all taught me that beyond them lies my growth and to be Me, I’d have to look beyond. To be honest, it is messy and nothing like the way one imagines it would be. But, every time I face up to the challenges, I feel a little victorious and a little more alive, and a little proud of myself. It is way better than the feeling of trepidation and uncertainty that I lived with for a long long time, as a young girl of sixteen when I left home to find my way in the world in a new city, many years ago. Some battles we win, and some we lose, but the readiness to face them remains in me even today, as it was years ago.

As a work in progress, I’m as flawed and as imperfect as anyone else, but I like to think that I’m always ready to look beyond the challenges life throws at me, because, eventually they lead me to become a better version of the person that I am, even if not fully, at least, a tad bit better than what I was yesterday. Growth may be painful but growth is essential in life. It keeps me challenged but it also keeps me sane. It keeps me on my toes and it pushes me to stretch myself. The mind that widens never shrinks back to its’ former self.

We never grow when things are easy. We grow when there are challenges.

I look at my life and feel I’ve learnt way more from the challenges in my life, and still do, than when I had it all smooth sailing and happy. But, that’s just me. It may not be that way with you at all and that is fine too. 

What’s your take on this? How do you see yourself grow as a person?

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13 thoughts

  1. Challenges really do teach us a lot. They also let us discover new sides to ourselves that we were not aware of. That and basically experience. The best attitude is to handle them head on.

  2. I so agree with you Esha- life will be puttering along into a slow mode when all of a sudden – Bang – I will be thrown up in the air without any warning and then deal with the entire shibang without any clue how to. But its these strifes which have made me stronger and willing to wake up and face each day with a renewed vigour – its this that has given me the confidence to say- Bring it on!!

    Happy to hear you are growing with each tough situation; I pray for inner strength and guidance for you in this. Cheers

  3. There is no doubt that challenges teach us a lot more. Sometimes when we come out of challenges, we realize many things and learn more. But it is also true that one needs to see challenges as a thing that won’t last forever. Many times, that feeling bogs people down.

    1. Absolutely, Parul. It takes some experience and a little wisdom to realise nothing lasts, not even bad times and one can look beyond the challenges to appreciate the good that has also come out of it. I know, many people feel it bogs them down. Teaching this to my 13 year old these days as he begins to see life in a new light.

  4. Dear Esha, it is only the challenges in life that make things interesting. Else we would really be stuck in a mindless rut. I find myself growing as I grow older – both metaphorically and actually…..While my middle expands so does my mind but I find that my patience and calmness has increased as I’ve aged.

  5. I agree it is challenges with make us a strong person, helping us grow. But sometimes we are weak temperamentally, and we succumb to challenges and restrict our own growth. So I constantly try to remind myself that I fight the challenges to become a strong person.

  6. Loved your post Esha . I think its my story too . Life filled my sorrow basket with alarming regularity and I was swallowed up in a deep fog of grief.. what I think of as the void… an emptiness that filled my heart ! I  learned about the depths of sadness and  the brutality of loss and that when life sucks you under, you can kick against the bottom, break the surface, and breathe again. I also learned that in the face of any challenge , you can choose joy and meaning. 
    And like you said .. I too have built enough resilience now so when the challenges come, I will  remember that anchored deep within me  is the ability to learn and grow. In this  process I hope to  discover  the very best version of myself .
    Have a great week !

    1. Thank you so much dear Aru’di! Every kind word of encouragement, and the love and support you shower on the blog means the world to me. It feels wonderful that we can connect through the roller coaster rides of life, the highs and the lows and can share our thoughts and emotions in the virtual world so effortlessly! Now, we must definitely meet up one day! <3<3 <3

  7. This is pretty much the same way I approach challenges – instead of crying over them, I use them as an opportunity to learn and grow. {of course, some crying also happens} 😉

  8. Sometimes we have to go through difficult times so that the good things can come through. Never growing in easy times is too a bold a statement. Every experience, good or bad helps us grow.

    1. True, experiences teach us something, both the good and the bad ones…I think I tend to lean on the hard times more because that’s when I learn more about myself than when things go smooth sailing. Anyway, to each his/her own I guess.

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