This Year, I Learned What It Means To Grow

This past year has been filled with so much heartbreak, more than my heart knew what to do with.

It was, however, also filled with so much growth. So much depth.

I learned, and I am still learning, how beautiful it is to stand still. To take a breath. To look at yourself, really look at yourself, and not judge, not ponder, not regret, but love. To love yourself with all your flaws, all your mistakes, all your wounds. To look back, not so much with the intent of scrutiny, as with an intent to gift yourself with all the love you previously sought from others. Above all, with an intent to praise your heart, for all that it has endured, and the ways it is miraculously shaping itself whole again.

I learned what it is to feel, really feel, an intense, immeasurable love for someone. Someone who I am ever-so-grateful for.  Because even if I did not get the happy ending I wished for, I learned that love can heal in many different ways. And this particular love, in some exquisitely tragic way, put me back together. And so I learned that happy endings can take many forms. I learned that finding myself may just be the happiest ending of all.

I learned that I should not question the depths of my heart. That I should not quiet the voice inside. That I should listen to it wholeheartedly and without judgment. Really listen. That the feelings raging through me are real. Valid. Oh, how long it took me to realise this. The world will not always understand the intensity with which your heart feels certain things. Certain moments. Certain humans. That doesn’t make those feelings any less real.

I learned how to respect my heart. How to respect its boundaries. How to comfort it. And how to let it, by grace, let it all go.

I learned what it is to appreciate. What it is to be grateful. Oh, to be ever-so-grateful. For this life. For the air in my lungs. For the temple that is my body. For being able to take care of it as best as I can. For my mind, and for the depths of infinite possibility within it. For my family. For their unconditional love. For the real friends. For my dogs. For all animals. And also for the simplest of things. For the coffee in the morning. For the scenic drives home. For the endless sunsets.

I learned what it means to grow, to really grow, with all the tears and the feelings that come with that.

I learned so much. I am learning. I am getting to know myself every single day. I am learning that all I want to do is to keep learning. To keep exploring all the heart that is me. To find myself, truly find myself. To become the best version of me. TC mark

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