How Do We G.R.O.W? All About Reality

A reality check begins with this. Who am I really, how did I get here, can I take responsibility for that, and how do I grow from it?

Previously, we asked two important questions about goal setting that shape the life that you want to or are leading.  They were “what is the ideal person you want to be” and “what is the difference between that and where you are now?”  Two supercharged questions, that if you think through may change the way that you see your life.  It leads us into the second question series with the thought “why does the vision you hold really matter to you?”  Now that you’ve had a week to digest the first two questions, examine your personal relationships, your level of responsibility/codependency and your own dreams, take out that journal you created and answer the thought that plagues us all – what does my vision of the future really mean to me?  How does it satisfy the deep needs of my heart & soul, while edifying the life that I chose to live, those I chose to love and the responsibility that I hold?

Reality: Sometimes, it does Bite.

When you come to reality there are two factors that really trump all the rest.  First, there is your story.  Maybe it’s one that you’ve never told, maybe it’s one that everyone in your life will groan about if you continue to relive it.  Chances are, you’re somewhere in between. Right now, tell your story.  Write it all down and come back to it later.  Make it words, pictures, color, sound…whatever it is for you.  Express who you are.  It’s only important that you know.  If you have a trusted friend or counselor, tell them the real story. All the times that you glossed over the truth so that you looked better in the eyes of others, all the times that wake you in the night.  The regret, the love, the passion, the longing.  Tell your story.  It’s the only one like it.  A word of advice: don’t seek someone who will stand in judgement, make you memorize “scripture” or even have a comment.  It’s your story.  The catharsis in my beloved Greek it is κάθαρσις….the freedom to speak and allow yourself to feel, free and complete the circle of life.

Once you’ve done that you’re probably going to feel both better and a little strange if you’ve never done it.  Together,  we’re acknowledging that all of us have circumstances we wish that we could change.  This isn’t about little adjustments: it’s about those major life points that are part of your five year plan.

Here is a sample of my “elevator speech” that I use to engage and empower on days when I am not feeling it: “In five years, I’ll be published, established a community center for universal faith in my hometown, dedicated time and money to the homeless and undereducated single Mom’s of Rush County, and still grown my family and home.”  Yes, that is a lot of work…but it’s never a burden.  This is where I truly want to be.  I honestly want to spend my life with Brian, to invest all that we have as a couple in one another, to live and die in each others arms.  Now that I’ve almost lost it, I know what it means to me; we’re stronger, closer, sexier and more passionate than ever before.  He’s “the one” I can talk to about everything, that will be there when I fail – that is what we’re looking for in life, right?  A not easy love that doesn’t ever truly fail you, that has the power to take your breath away? Isn’t that what you want to share your dream with?  Getting to the end alone simply doesn’t mean the same thing….giving love is what life is about.  It’s when that set of circumstances equate to a full lifetime that has becomes an obligation instead of a life filled with love that truly invasive action needs to happen: a reality check. 

Use the journal to write out five things that mean the world to you.  For me? My children, my husband, writing, home, education.  It used to look a lot different than that – but this is really who and what I am.  I don’t want the corporate career again.  Been there, done that, have a whole row of T-Shirts that I’m glad to pass on to the next gen.  As a mother and wife, I love caring for my family, and I am damn good at it. I miss having little ones around (Taryn is adopting neighbors) so we’re planning to add to the brood. 🙂  Yes, I want to be a mom forever.  I absolutely love children.  We’re exploring fostering, mentoring and adoption, too.

What dream do you have that lingers with you? No matter how large or small, if it's a true passion, you can do it.

Professionally, what does my dream mean to me?  What passion burns within you?  Something that you’re going to regret if you don’t do, that God inspired thing that makes you a unique person? I’d like to work as a PhD in counseling psych with people that are facing tough health challenges, and those that are destined to have a “terminal disease.”  I love the hospital where I interned, and plan to open my practice in conjunction with my favorite group of specialist MD’s at that location, if life turns out as I would like.  Lots of work between here and there.  My reality check:  I have to be willing to give up time with my family (items 1,2,3) to complete that education so the “dream” comes true.  I have to be willing to work consistently (item 4), every day to write quality work and get it submitted on time, looking constantly for new inspiration and new ideas that others haven’t imagined yet.

So the real reality check is what I am willing to trade in opportunity cost: the thing that I am willing to trade for the thing that I am pursuing.  Are you willing to do what it takes to be where you want to be? Are you willing to face failure, make sacrifices, be lonely, fight the current, stand while criticized?   Are you willing to invest your time, money and heart?  In my case, the opportunity cost is how I schedule my time. If I don’t schedule myself, I will be unproductive, and therefore, unfulfilled.  I won’t finish anything in an attempt to be everything to everyone.  I just want to be the best version of me that I can be; no one else.  I don’t need to say “yes” to every social invitation or event at the grad school; I don’t need to say no to everything that is fun and not on the “list.”  There is a balance between the two.  What I won’t allow:  I learned that outside influences of other people’s faith, objections to my general person, opinions about what I do/have done and emotions take a back seat to my immediate family and the life that we lead.  In other words, unless you’re on my speed dial, you’re not in the first billing dept.  I only have four people on speed dial, folks.  I conclude this section by saying what I live by: if you live looking behind you, you will live in the past.  There is nothing in my past that I want, nothing to go back and “pick up.” Same goes for distraction: sharpen your focus.  90% of your time to the goal, 10% for everything else.

Instead of looking at your past as that thing that will trip you up, ask yourself this:

What strengths do I have to help me achieve my vision? 

What is the key challenge?

Try to use solution focused language rather than “I can’t because” in answering these two questions in your journal.  What is possible, and how do you get there.  Break it into small pieces.  Remember….how do you eat an elephant?

Without a plan, no matter how hard you try...there may be toilet water in your future.

One bite at a time.

Next week, we’re going to talk about Options, and then about the Way Forward, completing that GROW acronym.  I realize that it’s a lot of homework, but spend time with your journal this week, with trusted people that will listen actively without judgement or censure.  Take time to meditate and be filled with light.

We’ve just finished filming the first real video blog lessons on meditation and relaxation, so I hope to tell you that they’re posted to the Video tab soon.  Like the Journal, they’re a drop down from the main menu…so it takes a little mouse action on your part.

Be well and blessed.  You are free to tell me your story if you want – email is [email protected].  I will probably try to fix you for a second, but will promptly get over it.  Your information is safe, confidential and anyone is welcome to write in any language thanks to Google Translate. 🙂  Sending you love.


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