No matter how hard you try, your work will never be done. How do you feel about this? Does it worry you? You see, working on ourselves is a long and difficult process that may take an entire lifetime but it will never be complete. I don’t mean to terrify you so you think the work is not important. In fact, working on yourself is more important than ever, especially given the times we are living. The world longs for leadership and those to stand for what is morally right. We can see this across the globe where citizens are staging protests against governments declaring their rights.
I’m reminded of the Greek philosopher Heraclitus who said: “No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.” He was saying that we are constantly evolving and who we were yesterday is not the same person we are today, nor will be tomorrow. What we know today is built on what we knew earlier and we cannot go back to the same way of living. Personal growth is an evolving process and even if you read one book a year and implement one piece of wisdom, the effects are far reaching. Life presents us with experiences and lessons to guide us to become whom we’re meant to be. Unfortunately, we don’t know who that person is when we experience hardships, challenges and setbacks, yet we trust these experiences show up for our highest good.
Knowing this, what life-changing experiences have you endured? What lessons did you learn that transformed your life? Not everyone experiences change, and I recall years ago working with people who had overcome cancer. Several of them were happy to put the experience behind them and go back to living a normal life. Yet, others experienced profound awakenings and realisations that changed their life. Similarly, I have worked with people who were involved in life threatening car accidents and are fortunate to be alive, while other survivors blame the experience for their scars. I’m not condemning these people but showing you we all experience hardship in different ways.
Our work is never done because there is always something to heal, something to transform, something to make peace with and something to learn. I found this to be the case in the last decade with my own personal development. When I thought I had learned forgiveness for example, life will present me with an opportunity to practice it with a person who makes it hard to forgive. We are always learning and developing insights on our life’s journey. The key is to keep moving forward, even though there are times we are drowning in our setbacks and disappointments. I know, I’ve been there and pleaded for a lifeline. My circumstances didn’t change but my inner resolve and capacity to deal with my experiences did.
Are you comfortable with the idea about not cramming your life’s lessons into this lifetime? It doesn’t mean taking a relaxed approach with our personal growth, it means not being fixated on the goal since there is no destination to get to. The journey and the experiences become the focal point, to thrive and become the person you were born to be. Life isn’t about arriving at a destination, it is the evolution of our soul and merging with a higher version of ourselves. Life and Mother Nature are giving in so many ways and it makes sense if we are the expression of life, we must also be of service to others.
With this in mind, I’d like you to give some thought to the areas of your life where you are not evolving. Where you are stagnant? What do you think is holding you back? Is it true or could it be your perception? Sometimes, what we believe is holding us back is not the case and there are other avenues to explore. It means changing our opinion and looking at it through the lens of empowerment instead of victimhood. For example, if your life is not progressing as you like, what is life trying to teach you? Is it patience? Is it appreciating your self-worth? There is always something to learn, even in unfavourable circumstances. When we experience the same experience, it is a message to learn an important insight before the experience is transformed. So try not to bemoan your current situation but get curious on what it is trying to teach you. After all, your work will never be done as long as you are alive because you are continually evolving into the person you are meant to become.