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Wellspring Counseling

Aaron Scharenberg, LCPC

  • Writer's pictureAaron Scharenberg

Unexpected Growth

Recently, I went through a time when I was caught off guard with something and felt deeply hurt, and it took all my focus and attention. I found that I became so consumed that I neglected the everyday things in my life.

After a few rainy days, I looked out and I saw an old bird feeder that I had left in the yard. To my amazement, new growth was springing out of it. It reminded me, that there are opportunities for growth when we go through challenges. Oftentimes, we don’t even see the growth at first, but then it appears.

I learned that there are some things that I can do to promote growth when I’m going through a difficult time. When difficulties, challenges, and hurts came:

1. I needed to embrace it. By embracing it, I accepted it and allowed myself to work with it rather than fighting against it.

2. I needed to allow myself to feel. I had to avoid burying my feelings or trying to cover them up. I had to let them out in healthy ways. I talked to trusted friends, prayed, and journaled to process through my feelings.

3. I looked to find purpose in it. How could I help others? How could I gain new perspectives on life? How could I become more empathetic to others pain? How could my struggle develop my character?

4. I found that to respond in love was better than to respond out of hurt. When I responded in love, I felt better. I had risen above the hurt, and I was able to let go of the pain. This became freeing, as the hurt didn't have power over me anymore.

It seems so much easier to look back and see the growth in our lives. If you are in one of those dark times, remember that the growth is coming. Embrace it, allow yourself to feel it, look for purpose in it, and respond in love. When you do, you might just be amazed at what you find.

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