"Change is inevitable, growth is intentional." ~Anonymous
We all have our personal areas of work. Some of the areas of work for me are seeing what is and not just what could be. I tend to get attached to potential, which works in my work, not in my personal life. Others area may deal with food, money, love, lust, anger, etc. I often hear people say, after repeating something they 'used' to do, "I thought I was past that." When I hear that an alarm goes off for me. In that statement there are so many things that cover up what is going on. First, there is regret and shame. Second, the behavior that is being discussed was judged/deemed to be inappropriate, bad or undesirable. Third it says, clearly to me, that we the person is approaching growth from the angle of getting rid of instead of accepting (because of the judgement).
When you are working on yourself and you are looking at something you are not pleased with, say you overeat when you are stressed (I totally do this… I also can under eat). Maybe you have worked for many years to move to a place where you no longer use food as a method to handle, or numb yourself to stress. Maybe it has been years since you have binged or withheld food around a stressful situation or event. Then, one day, you find out something that sends you reeling and you find yourself buying 'comfort' food and eating it all in one sitting. Or you find yourself refusing food and falling into a deep depression. Once you are able to see the situation with some perspective you may feel like you have regressed or gone backwards. This is only the case if evolution was about leaving all that you were behind. I don't believe this is true. I believe the concept of evolution isn't about getting rid of your history, I believe it is about accepting it and knowing that you are all, can do all, have done all.
When you move forward you aren't dropping off or losing pieces of who you were and what you have done. You are taking it all and using it for future reference, to relate to others, to choose to use or not to use when you deem appropriate… to remember where you began. Acceptance is one of the main areas of evolution. Accepting that we are capable of all that we have done and so much more. When you believe you have moved past something you are believing that it is possible to rise above being human in this human experience. I feel like that phrase is actually the sign that you need to (and will) experience that 'thing' again. It is like saying, I thought I had moved past using the bathroom… or breathing… or living. Our lives, our experiences are not to be moved past, but to be taken in. Seen. Appreciated. Given attention. You move past things when you are walking, biking, driving. You learn from and take with you your experiences. That is what makes you, you.
When you realize you don't move past your behaviors you are better equipped to be aware when the ones you aren't keen on expressing begin to creep up. You have the power to choose when to use the behavior or not. When you accept that you are someone who is capable of using food to numb yourself you can remember to use food for fuel instead, regardless of what is happening in your world.
You will be faced with yourself (the parts you love and the parts you don't) time and time again; how you respond when faced with those things about you that aren't your ideal is where so much great work is waiting to be done. Growth isn't about getting past something, it is about taking that 'thing' by the hand and walking along your path, keeping it where you would like it to be; taking charge of all of you. Using the experiences from the past to help guide you towards your desired future is why I believe we remember anything at all.
"Growth begins when we begin to accept our own weakness." ~Jean Vanier