In all realms of life (physical, mental, spiritual) growth can be uncomfortable.
In children, the diagnosis of “growing pains” is a confusing one. It was long thought that the pain was caused by growth plates extending or something of that sort. It turns out, this isn’t the case at all. Sometimes the pain is caused by muscles aching after running, jumping, and falling that inevitably comes with childhood. Sometimes the pain is neurological. No matter the cause, the pain is very real, and a part of almost every child’s life at some point or another.
As adults, we may not have those same pains, but we go through “growing pains” of our own. Whether it be through degenerative processes in our knees due to years of soccer, spiritual growing pains as we try to find our place in the world, family growing pains when we have children or grandchildren, there is a multitude of different areas of growth in our life, and many of them are not what we would describe as comfortable at the time.
Yet, these pains are part of life and are in fact vital for GROWTH to occur. Physical pain is a signal from our Nervous Systems to our brains that something needs to change. We need to adapt, strengthen, (get adjusted by your friendly chiropractor :), improve in order to return to optimal health and homeostasis. Mental, emotional and spiritual pains during growth phases are necessary for us to truly figure out who we are and who we want to be.
The pain we feel is vital to our well-being because we do not grow when we are 100% comfortable.
The S.A.I.D. principle is at play here. Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demands. It is a principle that muscle/tissue grows in direct proportion to the demands placed upon it.
If we want to grow into stronger human beings, we must push our muscles in order for them to grow.
This is not isolated to body-builders, however.
If we want to grow in our careers, our family life, our spiritual understanding, our intelligence, you name it… we must impose some demands, some trials in order to gain the merit.
I’m not saying go beat yourself up in order to grow, life will provide plenty of growth opportunities for us.
But, if you are feeling “stuck” in life, there is a good chance that you need to get uncomfortable in order to grow out of the rut, lest the rut become a deep hole.
Push yourself. Know that when the universe provides an obstacle, you will always come out in the end having grown from the experience.
Don’t shirk the opportunities to grow. Embrace the struggle and realize on the other side is progress :).
Have a wonderful (and maybe a bit uncomfortable) day!
Yours in health,
Dr. Joel Lindeman