I ran the bleachers at the local high school the other day, a welcome break from my usual route — sun shining, ear buds in, new playlist to keep time with.
All is well in the world when I’m out there exercising my body almost as much as my mind. As I descended the steps, my vision went out of focus, and I lost my balance for a split second. I didn’t actually fall, but when it happened a second time, I decided to run a lap or two around the track and reset my mind and body so that they were in sync again.
As I mentally ran the checklist of what could be causing this misstep, I realized that my mind had been processing the step I was about to take, and not the one I was currently on. In other words, my mind was one step ahead of my body; the dissonance was my body trying to catch up. This is a completely accurate description of my life — my mind working at warp speed and my circumstances taking their sweet time. And while the time it seems to take for it all to align is painstaking, I’ve come to realize that it is necessary to orient, refine, and direct our efforts constructively and toward the most fertile resolution.
Most of us want to race to the finish line, particularly when we see our future ahead of us, both in our mind’s eye and in our hearts. We want nothing more than to enter the life we see in our new field of vision, but we can’t get there from here, not from our current physical vantage point—because in order to bring about change, we must first change ourselves. Our past justifications are no longer sufficient. Those tired, old pretexts must give way to new patterns of thought and belief. Our actions must support the desires that lie deep within in our hearts.
But there is a brief gap of time that lies between when we realize this and when we finally take action, and I have come to see it as grace. It is during this time that we research options, gather resources, and summon the courage to be more prepared to boldly face what comes next.
During this synapse, one specific notion becomes illuminated and prevails—that knowledge without a matching action is futile. Knowing that we must grow is nothing unless we endure the process of it, with its unapologetic shrapnel and residue. To know that change is coming and even necessary, but to deter and hide from it instead of owning the responsibility for it is an impudent move that shows insubordination to ourselves, let alone anyone else caught in the crossfire.
Growth is a choice, therefore, just as much as choosing not to grow is. And while growth might decimate the physical world we live in, altering every aspect and every detail—choosing not to grow may decimate our souls, our sense of who we are, and what we are capable of.
Anything less than stepping forward and we risk dying on the inside. Anything less and we risk the ultimate failure, which is to be given this life and to waste it.
So I invite you to step forward, but keep in mind that when things go out of focus—when your mind or heart is slightly ahead of your circumstances—it is merely a time when you are becoming. Honor it, and give yourself time for your reality to catch up to your dreams.
Author: Christina Lenway
Editor: Travis May