We are wired to cling to the things we love.
It has always been this way – and perhaps it always will be. The more we have, the more we are terrified of losing. The more we accomplish, the more cautious we are about putting those accomplishments on the line.
We don’t want to lose any of the good things in our lives. We believe that growth must always be linear – one good decision leading easily and naturally onto the next.
But the truth is, life doesn’t always work that way.
Most growth patterns are anything but straightforward. Most steps forward are taken in the wake of several steps back. And it is an almost universal law that as much as we want to cling to what we love, we have to lose some good things to grow.
We don’t get to arrive at the next stage of our lives carrying everything we have with us in this one. We don’t get to stay safe and secure, and also grow into bigger, braver versions of ourselves.
Because the truth is, discomfort is not only a side effect of growth, it is a bare necessity of it.
Without discomfort, we have no motivation to change our circumstances. Without deprivation, we develop no hunger for abundance. As much as we’d like to stay comfortable and secure inside of our growth, it’s impossible to do so.
Because growth emerges out of struggle. Change is born from dissatisfaction. And sometimes, in order to welcome in the best things in life, we have to clear out the good things that are occupying their space.
We have to let go of the jobs we just like, in order to find the ones we’d love.
We have to let go of the relationships we’re complacently comfortable in, to find the ones that would challenge and change us.
We have to let go of security to find opportunity.
And we have to let go of our pride to find fulfillment.
In order to find the great things in life – the things that are capable of ripping us wide open and showing us to ourselves – we have to first be willing to be emptied.
We have to be ready to let go of our defenses, to lay down our pride, and to accept that what’s coming next may not be easy or comfortable – but it will be worth it.
Every job we have to pass up before we find the one we know we’re meant for. Every relationship we have to opt out of before we find the one that entices us. Every version of ourselves we have to abandon, before we can live in a way that is authentic. Every measure of security we have to sacrifice, before we find a way to thrive inside the wilderness of what we really want.
The truth about the great things in life is that they show up only after we’ve displayed the courage to let go of the good. The okay. The comfortable. The easy.
The great things are there as a reward for those who are brave enough and ready enough to go after them.
And for those who are bold enough to believe that their lives don’t have to peak at ‘good enough.’