Imagine you have a big beautiful house. Your dream house. Picture that house in your head, whatever it looks like for you. For me it would have a big wrap around balcony, it would have an inviting yellow door and big trees in the yard. There would be a dog running around and kids and husband. Perhaps a hammock and a corn hole set. A home that is a safe haven for people and a space where we could invite others over and always have a bed for them to sleep on and food on the table. Now imagine that you decide to have a big welcoming party, and as people show up, they bring their ideas and vision for your home and they start changing things in it without your permission. Instead of doing something about it, you stand by and watch helpless and unable to speak up.
One of them decides that the door shouldn’t be yellow, and repaints it. Another decides they don’t like the way you decorated so they add their own pictures and furniture in place of the ones you have carefully picked out. Another decides that it needs a big fence, because they don’t like that people can come and go freely. Another puts themselves in charge or your garden which they ruin because of their lack of experience. Another friend tracks through the house leaving muddy footprints all over. Maybe another turns off the water because they want to conserve it and soon your lawn turns brown. If this scenario were to happen in your life, it is easy to imagine the anger, frustration towards these people who came into your home and decided they had the ultimate say in things . There would be ill feelings and bitterness because regardless of what you want or desire your home to be like, they clearly know better.
It probably sounds a bit ridiculous, something that in reality none of us would never let happen.
Yet imagine that in this analogy, that house represents your life. Everything about you that makes you unique and beautiful. It represents your potential, your talents and your voice. All of those people represent the things on a daily basis that we allow to tell us who we are and what we are worth. Friendships without boundaries, social media posts that cause comparison to take root, trauma from your past that says you have no worth, your inner dialogue that is constantly tearing you down, people who have hurt you or broken your heart. The list goes on and on until soon you can’t even recognize yourself because of all the weeds that have taken root and overgrown.
Sadly, it is much easier than we realize for us to let people treat us in the same way as they did that house. Taking away our worth, determining our value, telling us what we need or who we are. Before we know it we often times don’t even know who we were before all the people showed up, we only see the reflection of who the world around us tells us we are. If we are not careful, all the beauty within us becomes tainted by the voices surrounding us and hidden behind the weeds that we’ve allowed to take root.
You could have all the potential in the world, but if you are constantly comparing and surrounding yourself with distractions you will drown it out.
For me personally, I know that I used to be okay with the weeds surrounding me because I didn’t think I deserved better or I was afraid of hurting or disappointing people. Sometimes it was honestly easier to not face the memories of the past or to go to my counseling sessions to work on becoming a healthier version of myself. It was usually easier to not set boundaries and to let people determine who I was, anything felt better then being alone.
This past year though, I spent hours in counseling and a lot of time alone and had several realizations that have stuck with me and pushed me to grow past that mindset. One in particular is that a flower cannot grow in poor soil or if there are weeds competing for its space and in the same way I cannot thrive and be who I am mean to be if I am filling myself with distractions , letting lies take root and surrounding myself with people who don’t encourage me or see my potential.
So for me that is what this year has been, a purification and redefining of the commitments that truly matter in my life. The process of discovering what matters and what gives me worth and value.
A reshaping of priorities, committing to speaking kindly and gently to myself as I learn to love who I am.
I’ve learned that creating boundaries is not a negative or hurtful thing. It is recognizing that I am made to bloom and thrive and sometimes that means choosing to give myself space from the things that want to stifle me or keep me from growing. I am learning that It is okay to say no and to walk away from things that are not healthy.
It is okay to let go of friendships that aren’t bringing you life, and to recognize that people evolve and change over time and that is okay.
Growth comes through the weeding process.
This year has helped me recognize that in order to grow and thrive it is okay to be alone. That usually the things that seem the hardest are actually what is bringing the growth.
We just have to change our perspective and recognize that letting go of the weeds in our lives brings the space we need to grow. This year has been hard and full of heartache for so many, but also it has brought a lot of good if we look for it.
If there is one thing this year has taught me, it is that silence and space are essential to growth. They are both uncomfortable and hard, but so very essential.
It is harder to listen when you are surrounded by voices, opinions and the latest social media updates that inform you of what you’ve been missing out on or who is ahead of you in life.
How often do we ignore what is truly important in the quest to fill our lives with more?
More social events to make us feel happy. More Facebook friends to convince us we are not alone.
More of the latest Netflix shows that often are just an assurance that we won’t have any silence. I used to think I had to update everybody on my life or that I was missing out if I didn’t see somebody latest announcement. It can be so easy to let the world around us convince us that those things are important without us realizing all of those additions in our life pulling as away from what is really matters.
God. Love. Relationships. Kindness. Connections. Vulnerability. Being fully present. Celebrating the things in your life.
When the noise dims and all of the distractions cease to exist, is when we often can begin to hear our own heartbeat an all the things it has been longing to say. In November, I got rid of social media to detox and to take a step back. During that month I got a new car and Ricky and I both got new jobs, and it was honestly really refreshing to not feel this need to tell everybody or to post about them. It was something we celebrated and we enjoyed together and with close friends and family. It was a moment where I recognized that giving myself space from all those distractions was allowing me to be more fully engaged and present with the people around me.
Give yourself space to grow.
Don’t be afraid to weed out those distractions and to create space for silence.
Allow yourself space to be and to grow. To bloom and to thrive. To listen to that still small voice within and to recognize the value that you have and bring to this world. Protect who you are, set boundaries when necessary and don’t settle.