Embrace All That You Were, Are, and Will Be

"Belief and Post-Belief" cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward
“Belief and Post-Belief” cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

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In the top frame, belief is small and separated from the whole truth. It is distinctive and exclusive.

In the bottom frame, belief is a part of the whole, now subsumed in the whole of what is true. It is universal and inclusive.

I think that the idea of our personal growth being linear is not the healthiest one.

Rather, I think it is better to think of growth as spatial. We grow out, not along.

If we think we grow linearly, this pressures us into rejecting our former selves. Here we may have feelings of denial, guilt, and shame for who we were and how we believed. This kind of personal growth is superficial as we attempt to find new labels to describe our new way of being.

I think it is healthier if we think of our personal growth as spatial, because this encourages us to embrace our former selves. We learn how to graciously integrate, assimilate, and individuate all that we are and all that we have been. This perspective of personal growth is deep and meaningful as we integrate all that is and acquire a unified vision of ourselves and the world.

What this means for you personally is that you don’t have to feel ashamed of who you were. Even the parts that we feel inclined to feel shame over we can now allow it to incorporate into our stories as a part of our maturation process. 

An analogy I like to use is compost. Good compost is a mixture of shit and earth. The parts of us we want to reject and feel shame over is the shit that now we can fold in along with the good earth that creates a nutritious mixture in which we grow. It’s all good.

My advice is to refuse to jump from one glass into another because it just perpetuates the same sad cycle of constantly rejecting yourself. 

Instead, allow your wisdom to deepen and widen to include all that you were, all that you are, and all that you will be. 

Love your whole self from beginning to end, inside and out!

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