Recently I was asked to sit on a live speaking panel where I was asked this question, “If you could give the audience a mantra you live by or a concept they could explore what would it be?”
“Pursue growth”, was my answer.
For me, this was a natural answer, because it is an extension of one of my core values, but it is not the easiest path to walk.
When you are in flow and everything seems to be working, growth feels good. It feels like living in the sweet spot of life. But pursuing growth also means that you have to be willing to look at where you are not in flow, where you are stuck, where you are stagnating, resigned or drifting.
I think resignation is the most energy-sapping of these states. It is the complete antithesis of growth. When we are resigned, we have given up; and being honest about one’s resignation can be painfully confronting, disappointing and disheartening.
It will always be this way.
I will always be this way.
It will never improve.
I will never improve.
Olive is my guitar. She is named after my first foster mother, and I love both of them dearly.
Guitar Olive and I have a relationship that spans the entire spectrum of growth.
There are moments when I feel I am getting better. I play a whole song all the way through and sing my heart out, and I cannot believe how far I have come. Then, I feel proud of the progress I have made in the last two years.
And then……. there are moments when I feel frustration because the progress is not fast enough.
There are times when I wonder, “Maybe I have the wrong guitar” (I was advised to buy a nylon string instead of a steel string; “but I want to play country music,” I said as I handed over my money).
There are times when I think maybe I have the wrong teacher.
There are times I want a break. Maybe just this week. Maybe just this term?
And there are times when I think maybe it doesn’t matter if I learn: it’s only the guitar.
But it does matter; it matters. It holds wonderful memories of my early years. I hope to play country music around campfires and in my rocking chair until my final days.
So, I showed up at my latest lesson feeling resigned, and I told my teacher, “I have hit a wall.”
And to my surprise, his response was, “Yes. That happens to me too.”
And then I exhaled.
I have the right teacher.
I just had to share where I was with it all, and that lifted the resignation.
Although growth is the path I choose, it helps to be reminded that resignation will show up even in the areas we care deeply about, maybe because we care deeply, and the sooner we recognise this, the sooner our growth continues.
We may do something differently, we may ask for support, we may take a break to start afresh with new energy and new eyes. Whatever we decide, it is all growth, and we each get to decide whether we run from it, ignore it, or seek it, resignation included.
I invite you to see resignation as a sign of caring, not as a reason to give up.
Wishing you a weekend of moving forward. xxx