I was acutely aware of my growth spurts as a kid because they usually involved pain.
In my younger years, I’d often wake up in the middle of the night crying from the bone-deep aches in my legs, soothed only by hot compresses and gentle pressure (thanks, Mom).
In high school, I was sidelined from my greatest love (basketball) for a couple weeks because the pain in my legs kept me from running. The culprit? Microscopic fractures in the bone, said the doctor, from growing too fast. Apparently my body needed time to catch up to itself. (No wonder they called me “gumby”).
Eventually my physical growth evened out (thank God) but I’ve noticed something has taken its place: emotional and spiritual growth spurts. Just like the physical ones, sometimes they hurt like hell. And sometimes they sideline me, leaving me weak and vulnerable, tiptoeing around inside myself until I can put emotional weight back on my heart and soul.
Like right now, as I’m writing a book that includes personal vignettes, and it’s turning me inside out.
And I’m re-defining “healthy” in my most important relationships, and it’s crumbling the mortar in some of my protective self-awareness walls.
And I’m re-shaping my understanding of God, worship, and the divine in myself, and it’s making little cracks in my foundation.
I used to think a vague foggy feeling was an indication of depression coming on, or that a scale heavy on the side of questions + light on answers was disheartening proof of previous learning and growth that “didn’t take.”
Turns out it’s usually just growth spurts: cracks, fissures, and joints beautifully weakened to allow a fuller expansion of my inner growth.
Turns out it’s just an internal request for a pause to allow my inner goo to gain strength — so it can solidify into a more firmly developed version of myself.
So the next time you’re in the throes of emotional or spiritual growth spurt pain, request hot compresses and a gentle, comforting pressure (you know the compression shirts that provide dogs comfort during thunderstorms? yeah, pressure like that), and know that the healing has already begun.
And you? When will you begin that long journey into yourself? ~ Rumi