March 29, 2023

The Process of Becoming is Long, Painful—& Necessary.

We recently celebrated the first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere.

The anticipation of flowers and trees beginning to blossom brings to mind a passage in Mark Nepo’s The Book of Awakening about the pain of becoming.

In this passage, Nepo shares how, as humans, we can be impatient with change and push ourselves to “unfold faster or more deeply than is natural.”

He explains that, “The simple rose, at each moment of its slow blossoming, is as open as it can be…if a flower were to push itself to open faster, which it can’t, it would tear.”

Transformation takes time. Rather than comparing where we are now with the end result that we’re striving for, which can lead to feelings of lack or inadequacy, we should appreciate that wherever we are on our path is enough. At each stage of growth, we are exactly where we need to be.

Like the rose, during each stage of blossoming, we are as stretched as we can be.

I get impatient with how long this process of becoming an entrepreneur and growing a business is taking, however, each step along the way is a milestone. Each time I move forward or make a mistake, I learn something new that aids in the next stage of development.

If we always push ourselves to move quickly, and beyond what we’re capable of at the time, we do ourselves a great disservice. It could lead to injury, illness, or worse.

When you feel yourself judging where you are against the imagined ideal of what you would like to become, pause and focus on the image of a flower that is budding. See the beauty of the early stages of blossoming. Then, as Nepo recommends, “inhale and appreciate the beauty of yourself about to open.”

As you strive toward who you want to be, it can be difficult to recognize that at each step along the way you are making progress.

The process of “becoming” can be long and painful, but it’s a necessary part of growth. Enjoy the journey.


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