Before I begin, yes this is another long disclaimer.
I thought you should know how much I struggled in uploading this, and many other posts for that matter. I wrote this back in February and I have been hesitant to publish. When it was originally drafted, I wrote with a certain group of people in mind. But that same month I met someone with a beautiful soul, a pure heart and a giving spirit. This was all a result of her growing pains. She was suffering inside and I felt both sympathy and empathy for her because I had been where she was.
My attitude towards the people I initially wrote about wasn’t as heartfelt and considerate. Maybe because I am human and I make unfair judgements about people.My problem is that as this blog grows, so do the number of readers, including people who are close to me who may feel somewhat hurt by what I have to say. So I have written this LONG message to remind everyone that most of the topics I discuss are things I have dealt/or am dealing with too.
So in short, I am not targeting anyone with malicious intent it’s all love b x
The Joys of Childhood…
For some, childhood is a time of bliss, a not so distant memory of better days when we never lacked in energy and stress was a foreign language. For others, unfortunately, childhood was a season of pain, immense difficulties we had not yet been trained to understand and a world where joy only existed in our dreams. For most, childhood (however you choose to define it), was a marriage of these two realities. I’ve used the word marriage here because, for many, it seems they feel a strong conviction in their hearts that they are forbidden to separate themselves from such past experiences; but in extreme cases, a divorce is more than necessary.
I’d like to address this post to everyone because we all face difficulties growing up, and those we experience at a young age have the tendency to scar us for life. You may consider yourself a victim of body image issues or you may have been discouraged by some hurtful words that have stuck in the forefront of your mind for the past 10 years- be rest assured that these are all very real problems that a lot of young and even grown and mature adults find themselves dealing with. You are not alone in your struggle.
But my one request is this: stop allowing this to define you!
It always amazes me to hear people talk about the problems they face in their day-to-day lives, it saddens me how many people seem to suffer in silence and how tempting it is to want to turn a blind eye to an unfortunate situation because “we all have our own problems, we don’t need to be burdened by anyone else’s”. But what completely shatters my heart into a million pieces is listening to someone talk about their problems, talk about the cause and then wallow in self-pity with no intention of forming a solution. I find myself wanting to scream at them, questioning why they aren’t doing anything about it!
It seems a complete waste to know the root cause of a problem and not want to fix it. It’s like finding out your tank is empty, but instead of topping up the fuel levels in your car, you walk everywhere and then complain about how much your legs ache. There is an Igbo Proverb that says:
Okuko na-arogoro ite onu, chetekwe mma gburu ya.
Meaning “the chicken frowns at the cooking pot, ignoring the knife that killed it”.
I come across people that live their lives bitter, complaining about all the many things that they don’t have the confidence to do in the future, whilst completely ignoring the very thing that has landed them in this position. The honest truth is that I struggle to sympathise. I have an appreciation for the cause of their behaviour, but this doesn’t increase my tolerance.
I’ve been told by my father that I am a woman of action and I agree. I don’t like to see something undone, I don’t like to leave things floating in the air. And I’m not talking about small things like washing dishes, believe me, I will be the first one to ‘leave the pot to soak’ for a day! But in most cases, if I see something that needs fixing and I have the tools with me, I will fix it. It’s honestly as simple as that for me, but I understand that this isn’t the case for everyone.
I haven’t always been this way. Just like everyone else, I had my fair share of troubles during my adolescent years. But support from family instilled a fear in me that has made me who I am today.
“You wouldn’t want to grow up to be a person that wears their scars for the rest of their life”
Don’t be a victim!
Even today, these words shake me. I’m always conscious of how I’m perceived, not wanting to be someone that people feel obliged to pity because my childhood struggles are still worn very clearly on my sleeve at the age of 50, or because the difficulties I faced are the reason I don’t have the confidence to reach my full potential later on in life. I’ll unashamedly admit that in my early teens when those words were spoken to me, it was anger that fired up in me, not a desire to be a better person. I felt as if the issues I was facing were no fault of mine and so I deserved to be greeted with pity. I deserved for everyone to know the hardships I had faced and I deserved certain allowances because I was a victim.
But I soon learnt that being a victim was nothing to be proud of, and a desire to remain a victim was a way of accepting defeat, refusing to put up a fight and surrendering all of the blessings and great things I was destined to do later on in life.
Forgiveness is a necessity!
A change was needed, and quickly before I lost any more of my youth. I can appreciate that some things are easier said than done, but as I said in my post about forgiveness titled Release, you should have enough self-love to not want to inflict any more pain on yourself. The unfortunate situations you faced are in the past, the orchestrators of your pain are most likely sitting alongside it. Also in the past. But you, your feelings, your actions and your well-being are now, in the present. You owe it to yourself to be an overcomer!
Put in work!
I don’t have a step-by-step guide to dealing with growing pains because every case is different. I couldn’t possibly formulate a perfect solution. But there are three main things I feel you can apply that should help you with your issues.
- If you haven’t already, identify the root cause of the problem
- Set a personal target- decide what kind of victory you want to come out with
Many people struggle to deal with their growing pains because they don’t have an appreciation of what the alternative is. Like most things in life, you need to set a goal. Simply knowing what you don’t want is not enough; you need to have a clear vision for what you do want.
- Work towards it
This is your life. No-one is going to put the effort in for you. Whether this involves praying and asking God for the step-by-step, learning new skills, attending counselling or confronting your childhood villains, YOU have to get up and do something about it. Wishing your pain away won’t get you to where you want to be.
As always, I hope this was helpful and I wish you all the best. Don’t be defined by your past- take control of your future!