Self Development is Not a Choice


Why are we here?

Do you have an answer?

I do. But I suspect that each of our answers is for us to know.

There is a purpose. Even without the grand picture, there is a purpose in the now. It is backed up by the emotion of each moment. The creations and magic within your mind. And the love you give, receive and try to expand.

So there is a purpose.

What is yours?

Do you have an answer?

In this moment. Right now. Where is your alignment?

I am listening to Girl Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis, and she is at the part where she challenges an invisible, albeit transferable, the figure of a woman who does not think that self-development is 'her thing'.

And I laughed.

Outloud.

Because as I am thinking 'if you are not trying to better yourself, what are you doing?'

Rachel said it. In her matter-a-fact way, she asked this figure, 'then why are you here?'

And I loved it.

It doesn't matter HOW you choose to challenge yourself and push through your own limits, it matters that you are. That you are not content with the agreements and limitations that you have learned to embrace. That you, in whatever direction, want to grow.

Self-development is the refusal to shy away from challenges that present themselves between you and your goal. It is the courage to be uncomfortable so that you may shed the old agreement and grow a new strength.

It is not a choice. It is what you do.

As time pushes events backward and progresses in its linear fashion, you change. You grow. You become better than what you were when you were less experienced. When you had fewer vehicles of exploration. Better, now that you take these challenges and your actions and responses make yourself proud.

I bartend, and I love it. I consider myself, among other things, a professional conversationalist. Often what started as two strangers, end up as friends, adopted family, and a wonderful night. The connections and friendships that I have made in this profession fill my heart. I remember, when I first started in the restaurant industry (working nights) I was not as satisfied with my job as I am today. I struggled with how to communicate with men who were behaving in a way that I was uncomfortable with. I remember being 15 and hostessing and hating it when men left the bar to stand up with me. He would have a drink in his hand, at my real estate of the restaurant; and project his envisionings of how the night would go. Awkward.

Last night. Someone did the same thing. Shouting sexualized comments to me and even assuming the right to touch me.

And I set him straight. I told him, under no uncertain terms, that he had to apologize and fix his behavior or he could leave my bar. He did apologize and he did leave. The point is I navigated through years of uncomfortable behavior, challenges and situations, to better myself through them. To allow the experience that time granted me, to account for grace and lessons learned.

Leaving work that night, I reflected on my energy. And I smiled. I felt at peace. I love myself. And I trust my actions. And I am proud of all of the challenges that led to this alignment with my nature, my truth and my energy. I am proud of all of the doubt that I pushed through to be who I am.

That is self-development. My books are self-development. My time alone is self-development. Every good thing that feeds me is an example of self-development. Each of my choices. Self-development is being alive, and being able to learn from what lessons you find yourself in. It is living. It is who you are, at the core of your aspiring, creative, cunning and self-perceived self.

Xo

Mary-Grace