We all make mistakes. We have all done things we aren't proud of. We have all had our fair share of personal struggles. I don't know you, and I don't know your story but I know that you will still face these battles. Some people believe that our past defines who you are. I don't.

We are all human and I believe that the essence of being human- how you choose to be human- defines who you are. I believe that how we deal with our conflicts and how we choose to move forward, defines who you are. I believe in growth- that growth allows us, humans, to let go of what holds us back.

Growth is something that people do not understand. I surely don't. I am still learning how to become a better sister, a better daughter, a better friend, and a better leader. But I know that growth comes in parts. I learned something by reading the poetry book "Inward" by Yung Pueblo that growth isn't a linear process, rather it is a boundless journey. Change may not have specific steps because it is an entirely different process for everyone. But I wanted to share my personal growth and what I believe it is.

Growth means to hit rock bottom.

At our lowest points, we are given the distance from our present selves and the opportunity for mental clarity. Feeling defeated is painful, but we have the chance to step back and see who we want to be in the future.

To grow means to acknowledge our defeat.

The world beats us down until we are forced to question how we can get back up. But in order to get better, we must first accept our loss and all of our emotions, whether that is pain, anger, or sadness. I don't know about you, but I tend to run away from these emotions and internalize it. The consequence of ignoring or holding in these emotions is self-destruction. Running away from the pain or the problems only holds you back from growth. If you cannot observe your internal conflicts, you will never be able to let go of your issues. Allow space for yourself to honor all of these emotions.

When you focus inwards, you are able to let go.

You will never be able to grow if you are not able to first focus on yourself. When you observe your emotions, you must be vulnerable to yourself. Dig deep, and open yourself up to release the bad things you continue to hold on to. Be honest and patient with yourself. This part hurts because it is like removing thorns from your body. But like everything in life, when you remove things there is a new space that must be filled- this space should be filled with new habits, new parts, new people. That is growth.

Change is constantly happening around us. It is a cycle of emotions and experiences that everyone and everything must go through. Growth is scary and it hurts but to run from it goes against the flow of life.

Do not be afraid of your own emotions. Let the old things in your life die so new things can come in to replace them.

"growth is embracing that you have changed and that you will continue to change. as you let go of old patterns, old hurt, old stories, you cannot help but develop new interests, new views, and new goals. after each leap forward taking the time to meet and love the new you will help ground you." - yung pueblo

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