Personal Growth

Ever since my Samhain post, I’ve been thinking about making a post reflecting on who I have been in the past, and who I want to become. However, I was waiting for the “right” moment to make it.

This time last year, I was not in the the best of places. By no means was I in a bad place, but I had just dropped out of college, was yet to find a job, and was wallowing in self pity.

Even though what I am about to share is absolutely disgusting, I am not ashamed to admit that I was so unmotivated it got to the point that when I eventually willed myself to clean my bedroom, it came to my attention that I was living in such filth that a small spider’s nest had accumulated underneath my chest of draws, less than a meter from where I slept.

I did not care about how I treated others, I had no true aspirations, and I would let anyone walk all over me if it meant avoiding confrontation and having an excuse for letting myself sit in a situation that I knew didn’t feel right to be in.

As I briefly touched upon on my post about neuroplasticity, I allowed myself to be convinced that there was no way I was going to change, and I accepted it.

So what changed?

I met my boyfriend in December 2018, and he is by no means the soul reason why I wanted to improve, but after speaking to him for a few weeks I realised how much I was missing. It had been so long since I took a genuine interest in learning all about another person, and even longer since I felt accepted by a friend. He was my first overwhelmingly positive influence that snapped me out of the toxic environment I allowed myself to stay in.

I had been in that depressing situation for so long, that it took someone new witnessing and expressing concern for the way I communicated my emotions, the way I described my thought process, and the overwhelmingly negative effect the majority of my friends at the time had on me for me to see just how bad things had gotten.

I’m not sure if I realised how significant that moment was at the time, but looking back on it, that experience was a catalyst for the change I didn’t even know was happening

Since taking a step back and looking at how my life was around a year ago with fresh eyes, I am incredibly proud of what I have achieved

One of the amazing things I have achieved is the fact that I do not feel that I need to express to the world what I have done since that moment to justify making an entire post about my personal growth. Instead, I want to share a few things I have learned just incase it helps someone:

People can only be helped once they want to be

This may seem a little bit obvious, but the concept of people not improving until they want to has been consistent for me over the past 6 months. It may be a little bit difficult to accept, but if you find yourself constantly arguing when people give you ideas on how to feel happier because you “know it wont work”, without even giving it a shot… Perhaps you need to look into yourself and see what is blocking you from opening your mind to something new that could benefit your mental health.

Similarly, if you are pouring your heart and soul into helping someone and they seem to argue with all of your suggestions with little more reason than just “knowing” they won’t work, perhaps they are not ready to change quite yet and though your heart is in the right place, your efforts are being wasted at that moment in time.

This doesn’t mean you give up on someone as soon as they question some of your advice, but perhaps next time you find yourself being argued with when giving advice, you need to ask the other person if they believe that they are ready to feel happier.

You can’t break a caterpillar out of its cocoon before it is ready.

We are more than our minds

For someone who loves the phrase “cogito ergo sum” ( I think therefore I am) so much, I appreciate that it is a little bit strange that I am saying we are more than our minds, but hear me out.

I have found it so therapeutic to see my brain as it is – an organ. It is amazing and complex but can easily become unhelpful and unhealthy if it is not managed.

I became a lot less judgemental of my intrusive thoughts once I stepped back and stopped completely identifying with the thoughts circling around in my head. I also became a lot less self conscious about how emotional I am as a person once doing so. I am not my emotions, so why should I be my thoughts?

Just as we treat our bodies better when we begin seeing them as the vehicles that drive us around, we take much better care of ourselves and give our brains what they need when we no longer see them as all we are.

Everything happens for a reason

I frequently mention that I am a witch, however this point is not nearly as spiritual as it initially sounds.

There is no magical force guiding our lives, we are simply humans that make mistakes. The wonderful thing about mistakes, is the fact that what we learn from them tends to last for as long as we need them to.

There is no predetermined set of events, but it is important to enter and leave situations with the mindset that everything will happen as it is meant to, and a reason can be applied to anything.

Our brains are amazing at justifying negative events and coming up with a positive outcome for them, so let them. The next time something negative impacts your life, such as losing a friend, why don’t you allow yourself to not see it as something purely negative, and ask yourself what can be learnt from that experience.

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