Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Are We Growing?

Greetings Friends,

Anyone who knows me really well knows I love me some good bath and body products, skin care and fragrances. Some of my favourite products come from the Philosophy brand, of which I've been a fan since its inception. For the past 15 years, I've "grown" with the company, purchasing everything from its fragrances, moisturizers, and countless bottles of their shower gels, like the one pictured above. In case you're wondering, "cinnamon buns" really does smell like cinnamon buns. If someone blindfolded you and stuck a bottle of this stuff under your nose, you'd swear the real thing was in front of you. 

About a month ago, I became a Facebook fan of Cristina Carlino, the founder of Philosophy. Almost every day I find new age-y snippets from her in my news feed. Today's snippet was, "everyday we grow. have you grown in the past year?" By the way, all the text of Philosophy's product packaging is deliberately written in lowercase letters. I'm not a huge fan of that, but I'm willing to ignore it because I do love what's in the bottles and jars. As a matter of fact, the Divine Miss O (Oprah Winfrey) is also a huge Philosophy fan, and I do my best to ignore that as well. I'd like to think this was one "favorite thing" I discovered before she did.

Back to the snippet: Have you grown? That's a mighty loaded question if you ask me. In my case, the answer is definitely "yes". Unfortunately, I've grown a bit physically since I've been remiss in paying attention to my diet. I've also grown metaphorically, since I started a business, and have made a solemn vow to learn from past mistakes. Those are two very significant examples of growth. 

Unfortunately, growth is often accompanied by death. Certain things must be sacrificed in order for us to grow. Those things can be physical and/or spiritual, depending on the type of growth a person experiences. Maybe you've outgrown certain friendships; maybe you've outgrown your home - be it the actual roof over your head or the city in which you live; maybe the jeans you wore in your 20s no longer fit you; maybe you prefer to drink tea instead of coffee. Growth and change come in many forms, and we need to do our best to recognize them and accept them into our lives. I know - easier said than done.

As much as I'd like to give myself credit for my own personal growth, there is one element that is putting up a mighty struggle. That element is forgiveness. There are certain things I am having great difficulty forgiving, relating to others and myself.

Forgiveness is a tricky thing; there's the saying, "forgive and forget". Forgiveness is the easy part; forgetting is the bitch. You can forgive someone in your mind, but literally forgetting is like trying to scale Everest in stilettos and a bikini. It ain't easy, especially when you feel in your heart that the individual and the actions are about as worthy of your forgiveness as Osama bin Laden. Suffice it to say that it won't happen overnight, if it happens at all.

Growth is about moving on to new and exciting opportunities, and shedding the past. Animals shed their fur twice a year at the turn of the seasons. Humans aren't so lucky. Yes, we do our best to exfoliate, but the metaphorical fur we carry around is not so easy to get rid of. You'd think at some point instinct would take over, but sadly, it does not. Time is the only ally we have. Yet, it is both an ally and a rival. To truly grow, you have to embrace time and let it do its thing. Having a bottle of "cinnamon buns" in the shower doesn't hurt. Last time I checked, shower gel is calorie-free. 


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