The only way to grow is to push your boundaries. When one is working out and plateaus at 12 reps, the only way to grow more muscle is to push yourself and do more reps. This is pushing an edge.
In new relationships, once the romance period slows down and real life sinks it, boundaries and edges get pushed and adjusted with each hurdle. This is what makes a relationship grow and thrive.
In the workplace each new task that requires gaining or honing skills pushes the edge of what we know and results in mental (and sometimes physical and emotional) expansion.
You get it, you have to push the edges of your capacity in order to expand.
When there is a goal in place and there is a lot of motivation, pushing edges is easier. Maybe not easier, but more enjoyable than when we are forced to expand.
I am being forced to expand right now, in several areas of my life. I am on my third night without power and once again am writing this hunched over my phone in my car. The storm we are having is producing 60 mph winds and there are down trees everywhere. It is amazing I had power today for as long as I did.
My patient that I mentioned previously also died today. It makes me really really sad and I am currently in the process of examining my every move to be sure that there wasn’t more I could have done. And while I made the best decisions that I could with the knowledge I had, I can’t help but feel that I should have done better.
My work situation with the guy that was threatening me has become very uncomfortable and I no longer feel any sense of security there.
Mr. X asking for us to be friends and not knowing how the future will work for us… this is pushing an edge.
These are boundaries I don’t want to be pushing. And they are also boundaries that I don’t really have a choice about expanding. Well, that’s not entirely true. I could choose not to expand. I could put my patient out of my mind and not make the necessary evaluations and just say I couldn’t do better and choose to not learn from it. I could have let the guy at work get away with what he did resulting in him doing this again to other people and ultimately allowing some really aggressive, toxic behavior in the workplace. I could walk away from Mr. X completely. I could choose to not write this blog and cease all my daily activities and give into the fact that I have no power but none of those things would serve my goals of personal growth and expansion. We are lucky in that every day we are tested. The field is set for constant expansion if that is what we desire. For me, I am still not fast at shifting things, so I need this training ground.
Just because I realize that, does not make it easy.
I wanted to throw in the towel today. I wanted to just not care so much about my patient, move to a place where I could start fresh where I didn’t have to deal with snow and winter. I wanted to quit my job and I wanted to run. Instead I am sitting here, tears streaming down my face, completely overwhelmed by my life. Those nagging voices are starting to get louder. The ones that are saying, “why did you think you could be a good doctor,” “you should just start over where no one knows you,” “you should just give up.” I know these voices are there as an echo of past circumstances. I know they are a product of fear. When I evaluate them further and feel into my heart I realize that right now, today, I don’t feel safe. I feel very alone and in some ways a little helpless. And if I boil it down even more I realize that I don’t want to walk this world alone. I am tired of doing everything on my own, of figuring out life on my own, of coming home to a house that occupies one person, of relying on my dogs to keep me sane. I want a man in my life. Right now more than anything I want someone to hug me (let’s be real, a certain someone), to tell me that I did all I could for my patient, to listen to all of my trials at work, to help me take care of clearing the snow, to make this power outage an adventure instead of an inconvenience. As the darkness sinks in and I sit, listening to the howl of the wind through the trees, the stillness in my home beckoning sleep, I realize I am just plain lonely.
I have to be pretty low to feel like this. Low on energy, low on reserves. Realizing that, I am searching for what will serve me best to fill my tanks. Right now that’s a kind word from a friend and a mug of tea that I have heated over a camp stove. It’s snuggling up with all of my blankets and the dogs and bedding down for the night knowing I have done all of the critical things. It is expanding the edges of my appreciation and forcing myself to not just find things to appreciate, but to actually appreciate them – with the feeling in my heart. And it is to be kind to myself, to be my own cheerleader and to show myself some grace in being and feeling human. It’s to accept that nothing that I am feeling is wrong, that I am okay, that this is all expansion and is serving some greater good. And it is knowing that I can handle this, even if I am alone.
Growth is not easy. Awareness gets easier the more you practice it, but actually using it and choosing differently is not easy. It’s simple, sure, but not easy. And it’s okay to have rough days, to feel overwhelmed and in need of some help. It’s okay to reach out, to cry, to ask for support.
And it’s okay to feel lonely. I know these feelings will pass. I will just institute the advice that I offer to everyone else. Just. Keep. Going. Tonight that means going to bed early, trying to get some sleep and starting fresh in the morning. ❤ ❤