By Arys Déjan Allen-McPherson
Let us take a moment to focus on what ‘personal growth’ should look like for us as men. I truly believe that growth is a natural part of life…but growth does not always happen naturally, if you catch my drift. There are times where we may need to literally push ourselves into growth, adjust ourselves in order for growth to happen, or even get rid of things and people who are a detriment to our personal growth in life
Some might read the last sentence of that paragraph and feel a sense of fear. Having to remove those people who might have been a part of your life for a long time and in order to improve who YOU are as a walking, talking, living, breathing, thinking human being, this can definitely be a scary thought and process. A bit of loneliness might come with growth. We have to accept that. Now, I am not referring to the type of loneliness where you don’t have anyone else in your life other than yourself, but those high numbers of bodies that you might have had present in your life before your urge to grow will definitely lessen, naturally.
If becoming a better version of you is something that you have always wanted to focus on, then as a man, you are going to have to put away childish habits, behaviours, even attitudes, and outlooks! Shed a little skin, so to speak. Do and approach things differently…maturely even. When doing so, you will start to notice that people who you thought were growing along with you are actually stuck at the age or let us say ‘stage’ that you initially met them at; it is either that or their growth process is much slower than yours. It is not their fault though! Everyone has his or her own personal process and journey that they are following or being guided through. Some people never grow, while others do. However, it is also not your fault for wanting to become a better version of you or to distance yourself from that which stunts your growth.
Imagine choosing to break up with that one significant other who you have already invested so much time, effort and energy into because you have outgrown the relationship and/or it no longer serves you. Some people might view this break up as selfish and actually, it is. Focusing on you and your growth is a selfish thing. However, there is a huge difference between ‘good selfish’ and ‘bad selfish’. For a man who wants to grow, desires to better himself and for others, can admit to things not working out, acknowledges the role that each may have played, or admits to his mistakes in the relationship that failed, this falls under the ‘good selfish’ umbrella.
In fact, why don’t we start aiming at being so focused on personal growth and bettering ourselves, that being in a relationship with someone before being internally ready comes last on our ‘things to do’ list. Let us aim to be at a healthy mental, physical, spiritual and emotional stage (not age) of our lives to the point where we will not need anything or anyone outside of ourselves to feel complete, fulfilled, and whole. While working on yourself, you will begin to see a shift; you will begin to attract those cut from the same cloth, who are going through a similar transition as you, and with whom you will be able to connect on deeper levels than you could ever imagine.
Arys Déjan Allen-McPherson