Thursday, August 18, 2005

Growth and Complacency

A recent telephone conversation with a close friend yielded the notion of whether we can learn to grow from both the good times and the times of drama and duress. Among many people who are committed to self-growth and exploration, I think that there's an often unstated idea that times of happiness and stability are also prone to be times of complacency and stagnation. Many of us can become addicted to drama and feel the need to "create" it in order to challenge ourselves to evolve. Moreover, some people perpetuate their dramas indefinitely, living in perpetual crisis mode, leaving little room for moments of quiet reflection.

It seems clear to me that there is a balance, and that my friend was onto something. She felt clearly that she must learn to embrace the good times and see the growth and inner calm that is born of such moments. Being content and satisfied in the moment has its positive aspects, and while there is always room for improvement, there is also a valuable lesson in taking the good at face value, if only for an instant. Of course, there are points in life when one knows that it's time to confront a pattern, change an outmoded way of being, or challenge one's assumptions about the world and one's place in it. There are always relationships in need of mending, patterns of thought which are unhealthy and counter-productive, and, yes, there's also contentment which borders on complacency and stagnation.

How do we find this balance and grow while still allowing ourselves to be satisfied?
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