Janine Stone: Let’s Talk About Growth

Growth can be a funny thing.

It often sneaks up on you when you don’t realize and you can’t necessarily see it until you have grown. To grow is to live and when we stop growing, we truly stop living. I can personally vouch for this truth.

At 46 years old, I can look back and tell you that I spent a big chunk of my adulthood stagnant – not growing. I was numb, hiding from feelings I didn’t want to acknowledge. The thought of grieving the loss of my mom at 22 was unbearable. So I hid.

What I didn’t realize until a few years ago was that I couldn’t just cut off one feeling – in my case, sadness. I cut them all off. I lived through most of my twenties and thirties numb and as a shell of my former self. Until I sort of woke up.

I awoke to the possibility that I no longer had to be a victim of my circumstance. I think I had worn grief as a badge of honor and a way to keep my mom close to me. While that worked for a while, it was no longer the life I wanted to lead. I was ready to take responsibility for it all – my decisions, my feelings and the years I had spent in hiding. I finally could see joy within reach.

Personal development course, after course, I was committed to my growth. It was as if life gave me a make-up quiz and I studied hard! And then I just grew. As I let my grief and blame slowly fall to the side and stepped into forgiveness and love, I began to feel joy. Little by little I learned to look in the mirror and love what I saw.