Seeking More Room to Grow
- attempt to find (something)
- attempt or desire to obtain or achieve (something)
- ask for (something) from someone
They say that curiosity killed the cat.
Quite a weird saying, but it came to mind and I am happy to say that all the newfound curiosity and passion for personal growth that I embraced over four years ago hasn’t taken me down yet. Curiosity for sure had taken its toll at times, but it had also helped me find answers to questions, helped me begin dreaming again and reminded me of the power of choice.
Thanks to curiosity, I was armed with a clearer idea of where I wanted to head. I wanted to use my passion for speaking in my professional endeavors, find healthier emotional responses and outlets for myself and my wellbeing, and focus energy on reconnecting in relationships that mattered to me.
But, I had one thing left to figure out: How the heck would I actually go about achieving any of those things?
When I was first legally able to get behind the wheel and drive a car, I used a map, a paper one that would never fold back up the way it should. (Yes, I’m dating myself here.) Then Mapquest came in and changed the world…Well my world, at least. I could go on a computer and print out pages and pages of directions to take along with me on a trip. It felt revolutionary.
And now, years later and thanks to the information technology age, I have at least three different apps on my phone that will tell me multiple routes to take to my desired destination. Just put in my starting point, where I want to go, and bam, the fastest way to get there is right at my fingertips. For a navigationally challenged human like myself, the convenience these apps bring is a true Godsend for a road trip or a morning commute. But in figuring out my life’s path, I’ve yet to find an app to provide me with this same luxury and convenience.
After the first year or so of my growth journey, I had done some hard work to get myself out of autopilot mode and finally felt like I had both hands firmly on the steering wheel. But I still didn’t know the route I was supposed to take toward the life I said I wanted. The only hint I’d gotten so far was that for me, personal growth was not going to be a quick, straight shot. While I wanted to move over to the fast lane, I was finding that for me, slow and steady was going to win my race.
Regardless of how fast or slow I’d go I still wanted to figure out my roadmap, or at least the direction I should head to get from Point A to Point B, the next higher, healthier place in my life, my career, my marriage, and my relationships with family and friends. Where was my next turn? I had no clue, but I knew I had to keep looking.
As part of my morning devotional time with two of my favorite folks, Louise and Jesus, I opened up the Bible and realized that some of the verses I read were becoming guides all on their own. One day as I read Matthew 7: 7-8 seemed to whisper back to me:
Here’s the way for your next steps.
The verses read, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”
I’d been doing plenty of asking for over a year and sure enough, I’d found answers. So, now I guess it was time to widen the lanes on my journey and move over from curiosity to seeking so that I could find my way.
When I thought of seeking, memories of hide and seek or even a good old-fashioned Easter egg hunt came to mind. When you were the seeker, you were focused and aware, you were actively looking for the hidden things. Honestly, though, I wasn’t the best hide and seeker or Easter egg finder. I was always a bit lazy on both fronts, if the hidden people or eggs weren’t pretty obvious, I might just run (or let’s be honest, walk) right past them.
But since I was learning to enjoy self-reflection and introspection and finding life lessons, I felt certain this pattern of not enjoying the hunt was really me resisting the process of seeking out into unknown and possibly unsafe areas.
But if seeking the next steps in my life’s trajectory was anything like these childhood games, I had work to do to improve my seeker skills. Good seekers, successful seekers were the ones that always found everyone in the game or had their basket overflowing with eggs. These seekers were quick, darting from one place to the next, not scared to crawl around, jump over, or crawl under things, ready to get their hands or knees dirty to find what they were looking for.
Did I have that in me?
Was I willing to do all that it took to seek and find my way to what I wanted?
Did I genuinely want the life of my dreams?
I said I did. I told myself as much, and at this point in my journey, I’d told others too–my husband, my family and friends, and my boss at the time, for goodness sake. But it was still only words, and words weren’t going to get me anywhere further on the road.
That was until I found a string of words that would become my guide and my desired destination.
Proverbs 13:12 jumped off the page one morning when I read, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.”
I knew what a sick heart felt like and I didn’t want to go back that way again. I had to chase the longing. I had to choose to believe that my longings, my dreams, were there in my heart and soul for a reason. I had to keep choosing hope. I had to keep seeking and finding my way towards the tree of life, my tree of life – the life where I was healthy and rooted, yet still able to spread my arms out wide and dance in the wind.
My curiosity had earned me the right to broaden my life’s experience. But now, I had some seeking to do. I was going to put the pedal to the metal. I was focused with a destination in mind. I didn’t stop to wonder how far I could go before I might run out of gas, or if I might hit dead ends on roads that looked wide open.
I didn’t stop to think that there might be other forces in the Universe ready to throw in nasty potholes along the way. But I was a self-professed fearless grower, right? A fearless (and still naive) grower ready to hit the road towards a life where I could stand on my own two feet and be deeply connected to those I loved.
I could do this.
I was doing this.
I was still safe.
I just had to keep going.
Seek and find, Dena. Seek. And. Find.