When I was a child, I was plagued horribly with what my Mom called “growing pains”. My skinny little legs would feel like they were being ripped apart. It REALLY hurt. Momma would have to massage my legs almost every night with something called Watkins Liniment. I don’t know if it was the liniment or Momma’s gentle hands, but soon I would be able to drift off to sleep, only to wake up in the middle of the night and have to do it all over again.
When Little Miss ASIJ’s tiny legs started aching about the time she was 3, I instantly knew what was going on. Mr. ASIJ wrapped her little legs in warm wet towels to ease the pain. And I would massage them until my fingers ached. It gave me a new appreciation for what my Mom did almost nightly.
My legs don’t have growing pains anymore. But I still experience very painful growing pains of a different sort. I believe all of us do. Some handle these pains better than others. Some cry. Some yell. Some become more silent. Sometimes the pain seems unbearable. But it must be necessary for us to go through growing pains in order to GROW. Sometimes expansion and growth seems to rip apart things in our lives that need to leave. But growth always brings about a new beauty. A calmer Spirit.
As I’ve gotten older, I understand these growing pains a lot better. I can almost welcome them because I know when its all over, I’ll be a better person. I will have maybe found a piece of the puzzle that I thought was missing. I may be able to look at another person and understand things I didn’t understand before. I may be able to love when before I just didn’t know how to.
Maybe growing pains are what a lot of people on Planet Earth are going through. We have to experience THIS to get THAT. We have to get to HERE before we can go over THERE. There’s lots of joy along the way, but spurts of growth can still be painful. Days may turn into weeks, and weeks into months, and months into years. We may not know how we got to where we are, probably because we pushed the growing pains down inside or medicated them, thinking that was the way to cope. I know I did for years. And then when I finally gave myself permission to grow, I found myself wishing I had not tried to mask the pain when I was younger. I would have grown so much faster.
But ultimately, something happens. We go through a crisis. We meet someone sent our way by God or the angels or the Universe. We finally almost get to where we’re going. And we realize the “medication” for our growing pains all along was as close to us as our hearts, as close as the air that we breathe. If we had only massaged our hearts with LOVE…growing would have been so much faster and smoother and a LOT less painful.
Opening our hearts and realizing that its ok to be loved, and its ok to let someone else see us cry out in pain, is a very good beginning. We can’t get it wrong. If someone else doesn’t understand, then they have growing pains of their own to go through. And luckily, we are there to hold hands and walk with them through the pain.