Today, I am thankful for growing pains.
Pain is the great teacher. I woke before dawn with this thought. Joy, happiness, are what we take and do not question. They are beyond question, maybe. A matter of being. But pain forces us to think, and to make connections, to sort out what is what, to discover what has been happening to cause it. And, curiously enough, pain draws us to other human beings in a significant way, whereas joy or happiness to some extent, isolates. ~May Sarton
Slowly but surely, my life stretches outward in new directions. I feel each tug - first this way, now that. I admit that my life was set in many ways. Habits and apathy guiding my actions. Shall I take the easy way out and refuse to rock the boat? Shall I pass on another voyage of self-discovery?
Now, instead of concrete foundations, my life requires flexibility, adaptability and comfortable hiking boots. It's time to give my adventurous spirit free reign to do it's thing.
All this in reaction to pain. Not from a physical ailment, mind you. But, still a pain deeply felt and experienced.
Pain that begins as a gut feeling, a hint that something is amiss. Pain that grows into a persistent worry that haunts my waking hours. Pain that keeps me up at night when sleep should be mandatory.
Think heartache and disappointment. Think regrets and lost dreams. Think bad decisions and burned bridges. Think fear that overrides faith.
A professor for whom I worked one summer called my malady, personal growth.
I call it growing pains - a sign that, at age 53, I am still learning to be human, still trying to find my way in the world.
For this blessing, I am grateful.