As humans, we all have an innate growth drive. It points us toward being better, moving forward and driving toward something higher. Basically, it’s something inside ourselves that drives us all to want to be the best version of ourselves possible. How we do that is by engaging in a cycle: putting in effort, being inspired by the results, and continuing to put in more passion and effort.
But sometimes life happens and the “mission” is interrupted. Life transitions and changes, either good or bad can interrupt progress. It can be something wonderful, like having a baby or getting married. Or it can be something difficult like losing a job or something heart-breaking – like the loss of a loved one.
And you have to Stop… Pause…
And then press play again….
But the thing is: you can only press play when you’re ready; until then one track of the symphony stops as the rest of life plays on.
This happened to me. The happy ending is that I emerged inspired, passionate and itching to move forward – but in no way was it easy to press play and restart. It was so challenging to get the inspiration to press play again. When it happened, it happened suddenly. It was like the dust settled and vroom – my growth drive kicked in again!
I pressed pause on my growth oriented projects of pursuing my passions. The projects meant to make a difference for more people by supporting their growth, healing, and transformation. The projects expressing my creativity and heart. Projects had been started, but not finished. Dreams dreamt but not realized. The fire was dampened, pause just happened, until rekindled.
Looking back now, the reason for my pressing pause was big. Rosemary, my wife and business partner passed away. After that whirlwind of grief, confusion and sadness, I slowly learned to have fun again and a new, wonderful woman, Nancy, walked into my life. For over two years I was swept up in mixed emotions, the day-to-day tasks of my career, and learning the nuances of my new life.
Life went on. But one important track stayed on pause.
Once I was ready, after processing all the changes, recalibrating, reflecting, and feeling grateful for new possibilities, I began take the steps to move forward and press play again.
At first, when the growth track started playing again, I was critical of myself for pausing. Fortunately I chuckled at the foolishness of that thought! I had an epiphany of sorts and realized that my personal and spiritual growth did not pause– only one track paused. I felt a warm sense of gratitude through my entire body for what was learned: I emerged a richer, wiser, and deeper person because of those experiences.
Perhaps the higher mission was not interrupted after all.
Here’s the lesson for you: sometimes your growth drive pauses. Life is full of transitions that change your trajectory for a time. Growth still happens when you are busy with dealing with the other tracks of your life. It is inevitable that sometimes certain tracks of your song pause. That is okay. You will press play again when you are ready.
As you press play again, remind yourself that the pause is a positive thing. It does not stop your progression and growth drive. Somehow the pause did serve your personal and spiritual growth. Trust that it was a step in the process of getting you to where you want to go.
Often, the pause is right before the big breakthrough. You’re on your way to feeling more alive, more inspired, more driven, and oh yes- more positive! The pause is the time right before the emerging clarity and resolution when we leave a period of our lives behind. Remember: insight occurs when confusion subsides.
~Rich Liotta, Ph.D.