Growth is hard. It is painful. It takes a lot of work and consciousness.

Whether it is more obvious and physical when you finish a workout and your muscles are sore for days, or whether you do the intangible growth of your mindset and thoughts.

They are equally painful and hard.

The day of my 3-year-old’s birthday, my 5-year-old came downstairs and saw a balloon arch I made for the birthday party and instantly, she stood frozen and began to cry when she saw it. She told me she wanted one like that and then it hit me like a bucket of cold ice water: my daughter is experiencing jealousy and she had never felt that before. She went on to her room and cried and was sad for a bit as well for part of the day; little bursts of sadness came about.

 I went to her room, cuddled her, kissed her, acknowledged her feelings, and let her know what she was feeling was a new word called jealousy. We had to define it because she thought she was crying because she was “tired” (at 9:30 am). She had no words to define this new feeling. 

I told her, in life, we can see what others have and we can either feel this new word “jealousy,” and feel sad, angry and cry; or we can see what others have and either figure out how to get that balloon arch for ourselves or be happy that her little sister had it and was so excited. The choice was hers on what felt best for her at that time. Sadness and crying with jealousy, or happiness.

My friend that was at the party (masked, outdoors, exceedingly small), told me how she felt bad about the day because she saw it was a hard day for my daughter. Her words struck me because I told her it was a fantastic day for my daughter.  It was a great day to learn about new emotions and learn choices about our thinking. What an amazing opportunity to learn this at 5 years old and not when you are 24 years old.

She then replied, “Life is hard.”

To this I said, “Life is easy.”

They are both true, it just depends on how you want to think about life every day and how it’s going to make you feel. Saying, life is hard at 9:53 am will make you feel defeated all day, hopeless on what the day will bring. Saying, life is easy, will make you feel like you are breezing and dancing, and skipping through the grass because it’s a positive thought.

It is a subtle choice. We say things all day without noticing the negativity or positivity; but it is so powerful.

A fantastic quote I read says, “A negative mind will never give you a positive life.” It’s probably obvious when you have met or been around Debbie Downer who all day complains how this is terrible, or that is awful. But you do not realize it when we say things all day that are filled with negativity.

We will say it while prefacing it with a worry or compassion of a situation, or when we describe anything, we see. It is subtle. But it is there. I recently heard that we say a negative thing once every minute if we pay attention. We may be smiling, we may be laughing, but what we are thinking or saying is riddled with negativity that is subtle.

Life is hard. True. But so is the opposite. 

Being conscious about our daily thoughts and what it does in our mind, will take a lot of work, growth, and pain. It will make your brain and consciousness muscle tired. You may want to quit after a couple of days. Just like you quit the gym, your diet, the new project you had started.

Growth will be painful. Growth will take work.

It will take commitment; but so, does anything that is worth it in life. Whether you are a doctor, or you have a six pack on your stomach.

So, commit to the growth.

Commit to your thoughts.

Happiness which we all crave, is waiting for you on the other side.