Having been on a journey of growth, I’ve done a lot of reading, listened to podcasts, meditated, done hypnotherapy, journaled and a host of other “self-improvement” things. This journey usually takes place after a “tower moment”, after something big and often heartbreaking happens in your life. When we end up on a collision course and need to make changes.
There are so many depictions of what this sort of transformation journey should look like. So much advice on what you can do to evolve, change your thinking and become a better version of yourself. So many books. So many quotes. So many “gurus” ready to impart their wisdom. Sometimes buying a new book, attending a new seminar or listening to a new podcast is a way our ego creates the illusion that we are evolving, but it’s just a subtle and clever way to distract us from really doing the hard work.
Of course there is nothing more satisfying and rewarding then “working on yourself” to be a better person. To learn and grow is a beautiful thing especially when you discover yourself and your passions and purpose. It benefits you and it benefits those in your life. Here’s the thing though, it’s not a few months of meditation, positive self talk, reading and journaling. It’s so very much more than that.
Real transformation, growth and change is f*cking hard. It’s a process and processes take time. In my case over 5 years, with the most growth and change in the last 8 months as I endured a second “tower” moment, which catapulted me into a deeper and necessary period of growth. Real transformation is messy. It’s ugly. Raw. Painful. It’s brutal in your need to be so harshly honest with yourself, which if you are serious about change ignites the desire to be honest with everyone in your life. It’s to face your darkness, face your shadows and lay them bare. It’s that dark night of the soul.
It’s sitting with your pain. It’s feeling every f*cking feeling. It’s grieving. It’s anger. It’s frustration. It’s fear. It’s sadness. It’s sobbing. It’s breaking over and over again. It’s going so far deep within yourself, there’s a time you think you may never come out. It’s solitude. For if we cannot learn to be alone and sit with our pain, we can never truly heal or transform. Distraction is a very tempting way to avoid dealing and working through the pain. We are all guilty of masking what is truly going on inside of us, lying to ourselves, because the truth can be frightening. The truth can be agonising to ourselves and others. The truth can hurt and make another suffer, but ultimately the truth sets us free.
Once we learn to sit and feel the pain, we can then learn to deal with it. How? Well I found hypnotherapy, meditation and writing to be my saviours. I knew for me to truly deal with this pain and darkness, I needed to speak and write from my heart. I needed to speak of the things I was not proud of. The things that scare me. The things I have overcome. The things in my heart. I needed to address my reaction to things and I needed to be open and honest with those in my life. I knew the risks involved with speaking my truth and the possibility of losing people but for me to be authentic and help others and know in my soul I have learnt from my experiences and genuinely transformed I had to take off any masks I was wearing. We have all battled imposter syndrome. Wobbled with our confidence, self- esteem and ego but sometimes we just need to get out of our own way. Strip ourselves bare to set ourselves on the right path.
I have had some recent success with my writing which is such an honour and privilege. I was reflecting on this and reading some of the heartfelt comments people had sent me and I realised it is because my writing is so open. I allow myself to write with vulnerability. One comment read “it’s not just your words, it’s the feelings behind your words, that are so intense. It’s evident you write straight from your heart”. To resonate with people be it through writing, singing, videos or whatever, you need to be completely yourself.
When I read or listen to something/someone that I sense is not authentic, I switch off. People can only fake something for so long before most people can see through the bullshit. It’s why I don’t watch the news. Also why when most politicians speak I find it hard to listen as they are self-serving and egotistical. I believe it’s about the passion because if you are passionate about what you are doing, to get a message out or help someone genuinely from your heart for the right reasons, that is visible for all to see. If however, it’s about money or ego driven things like power, status or validation you are hurting yourself and others. Those who have embraced their spirit, their inner knowing and intuition will always see through those who are not being genuine.
There’s a hell of a lot of forgiveness in transformation. Forgiving yourself and forgiving others. There’s a need for solitude and sitting and just being. You need to feel those emotions like a tsunami washing over you and it is a process. Some days are devastatingly brutal. There is no quick and easy road to take if you are truly growing and transforming. It’s true we should never be defined by any negativity in our past, however, we also need to own it, be honest about it and apologise from our hearts to those we may have hurt. To be authentic you need to be free. You need to be unafraid of what others think when you speak your truth, release yourself from any shackles and stop hiding parts of yourself. This is not easy but necessary.
Everyone comes into your life for a reason and everything happens for a reason, it’s understanding those reasons and what they are trying to teach you. Many of us think we understand and we allow our ego and distractions to convince us we’ve done the work, never realising we haven’t even hit the tip of the iceberg. We want so much to believe we have evolved so we create more distractions in our life to busy our minds, so we don’t have to feel and deal. When what we need to be doing is LESS. We need to be freeing up time and space so we can grow. Growth comes from within, from our heart, soul and spirit. Not our overthinking, sometimes confused mind that will encourage the mask wearing and trick you into ignoring your heart, soul and spirit as a way to protect your ego. There is no place for ego in transformation.
We should never stop growing and transforming. To live a life with passion and purpose means we always need to evolve. We should always be learning. A very difficult and at times dark and despairing road but also one that can be very rewarding. We just need to be careful not to let the mind and ego trick us into a false belief that we have transformed. Rid yourself from distraction. Go into solitude. Be grateful for everything. Release your darkness, any secrets, anything that’s holding you back from being free. Then and only then can you transform.
“Real transformation requires real honesty. If you want to move forward, get real with yourself”.