What Are You Growing Out Of?
My partner and I were talking, years ago, with my brother, his wife, and their then almost 6-year-old son. The four of us adults were sitting around talking after Vaughn had gone to bed, and my sister-in-law used the phrase "grow out of it."
My brother suddenly sat forward, face lighting up, and said "growing out of - like a plant grows out of the soil!"
This is such a different way to understand that phrase we so often use to mean "leave it behind" -- "it" sometimes being an unattractive/troublesome behavior, or sometimes a lovely imaginative innocence or other virtue of childhood.
What if we understood the things that we’ve "grown out of" as part of the soil that still sustains us?
What if we saw the things we are letting go of as leaves and flowers dropping to the earth to become compost for our new creation and growth?
What would be different about how we think and feel about those things we are trying to release?
(And yes, this question is useful for the super hard stuff - racism, personal traumas, family systems issues, etc. - as well as the smaller stuff.)
We so often judge our old ways of being as "wrong" when they are no longer serving us, but they always came into being for a reason; they were a way of helping us cope with societal, family or work expectations, or situations that we didn't have other tools to deal with then.
And they gave us gifts; gifts we can still draw on if we are aware of them, even as we choose to leave a particular understanding or behavior behind us because we see it as not useful in our current life or even actively in the way of our becoming who we want to be now.
And the joys and nurturing we have experienced in our lives have also enriched the soil we continue to emerge from; feeding our becoming.
From that lens, I invite you to consider the questions:
🍄 What am I growing out of?
🍄 In what ways does my past nurture me, even as I need to let go of some of what I learned to survive then?
🍄 What changes if I imagine both the joys and challenges I’ve lived through as compost, feeding the me I am becoming?
These dynamics and questions exist for organizations and relationships, as well as for each of us individually. I’ll explore that territory more in a future blog post, but if you are curious about it now, reach out.
I'd love to hear how this lands for you.