We march across the same bridge a thousand times never fearing its integrity, until we peer underneath and see the rust and cracks. Now that same bridge feels different. Each sway sparks fear of collapse. We hold the rails a little tighter, move across with more urgency. We fear our demise. Our security in our mental, and physical strength is like the old rusting bridge. We enjoy confidence until our weaknesses are exposed. Frightened by our weakness we tremble, hide and stagnate.
Experience, failures and self-examinations are necessary for growth. They reveal our underbellies to consciousness. But these same processes also strike fear as faulty protective images when self-work is determined necessary.
“The day the child realizes that all adults are imperfect, he becomes an adolescent; the day he forgives them, he becomes an adult; the day he forgives himself, he becomes wise.”~Alden Nowlan
Self Knowledge and Growth
A prerequisite of growth is self-knowledge. With clearer vision, we gain insights into personal stumblings. Reality stuns, when we discover that much of our discontent may be our own inadequacy. Like Oedipus, “we moan put out my eyes to avoid seeing.” The courageous journey into the heart isn’t pleasant; but is necessary to transcend the behaviors preventing opportunities and dulling happiness.
Our journeys unveil newness. With compassion, we can process imperfection and sooth ourselves, accepting our frightening weaknesses. Instead of retreading worn out protective blindness, we can seek healthier answers to adapt to lives difficulties. Fantasy, denial and projection can warp into healthy suppressions of dangerous and destructive impulses promoting healthier coping mechanisms.
We can’t take life head on all the time. Sometimes during our development, the emotions can overwhelm. We can revert to healthy avenues to shelter and protect. Relationships, exercise and challenging hobbies are excellent choices to redirect energy, calm the nerves, and rejuvenate the spirit for the next round of life.
Once rejuvenated, we can grab our tools, slip under the bridge and began the work of scraping away rust and replacing compromised and broken pieces. Only with healthy adaptive ways of facing our limitations can we engage in the maturing process of growth, building character, skill, and resolve to make it across the inevitable challenges of living.