Have you ever “planted” a potato in a jar of water? You stick toothpicks in the sides of the spud to keep it suspended (but partly submerged) in the water and watch it sprout. And sure enough - doesn’t take long before the potato eyes have little vines growing! But before long, your little science project has grown beyond the jar and needs a new space to continue its process. You can find a bigger pot or plunk that bad boy into the ground and see what happens.
In a way, we’re all like that potato on toothpicks. We’re all growing, changing, evolving past our current form and into a new phase. We’re all in transition, all working towards that next move beyond the glass jar and into new ground to really spread our roots and expand to great new heights.
But many times, we get trapped in that jar by other people who, well-intentioned or not, aren’t ready for us to grow. We all cheer each other on for moving forward, but the truth is that change is sometimes scary and oftentimes uncomfortable. And when we change, it can often have a reverberating effect on our circle of friends/family/acquaintances. No matter what they say, some people just aren’t ready for us to change because in some ways it can challenge their growth.
Part of the reason for the pushback and interference we receive is that the process of personal growth doesn’t always look great. Sometimes, it’s messy. Sometimes, it’s without much direction. And it usually causes a disruption of patterns - especially when/if we begin establishing boundaries associated with our growth.
Part of my journey in self-growth has been to stop taking things personally. It’s not a “got this once and I’m good” thing, but a cycle of healing that I remind myself to become present with when triggered.
“You're only a secondary character in everybody else’s story.”
I’ve come to learn that everyone is the main character in their life story because they are narrating the reality they perceive. When we take things personally, it’s the maximum expression of selfishness because we make the assumption that everything is about us. And really, everything is about whomever it is projecting the assumption or judgment.
Back to the potato in the jar - in the beginning, those toothpicks were a good thing; they supported the spud during its early stages of new growth. But eventually, they stop being a help and become a hindrance to the potato trying to expand beyond its current state. Sometimes, people in your life who you once looked to for support become the very blockade from allowing you to grow in your journey.
So, what do you do?
You can only be responsible for yourself - your words, actions, reactions, decisions. You can’t control another person’s perception or opinion of you, and it’s not your responsibility to change their perceptions. It’s not your responsibility to convince someone to like or accept you. You have to learn how to accept this raw truth and keep trusting yourself by expanding and growing in your own beautiful and authentic way.
Don’t perpetuate the cycle of adapting your story to fit someone else’s preferences. This is your story, your journey, and no one else is responsible for its outcome but you.
If that potato is ever going to be more than a home science project, it has to change the surroundings that don’t support its growth and find more suitable and nourishing ground to grow.
Grow through what you go through, and allow yourself the space to evolve and transform into the very best version of YOU.