You’ve Never Seen Transformation Like This
If you’re at all like me, every time you log onto a social media platform, you’re bound to see some amazing before-and-after photos of people who have undergone an incredible transformation. It’s hard to just scroll by without scrutinizing the images. To be honest, I find them to be just as discouraging as they are inspiring. Sometimes, I allow those photos to make me feel jealous or bad about myself, because I’ve struggled to lose the same ten-to-fifteen pounds over the past four years. It doesn’t matter how often I’m told that I look good, because the fact is, my jeans don’t lie.
At the same time, I am not who I was four years ago.
I have undergone a radical transformation–it’s just been on the inside, where you can’t really see.
My mind and my behavior have had a complete lifestyle change in pursuit of better emotional and spiritual health. Like cleaning out my fridge and pantry of all the junk food, I’ve been determined to clear out unhealthy mindsets, lies, fears, and responses, all in preparation for a new way of life. I’ve adopted a strict diet of life-giving “food” for my malnourished soul. I’m careful to get that food from pure sources: namely, God and those who love me and encourage me to grow, Movies, books, music, and other impersonal sources are intentionally weighed and sifted for value before I consume them. And I have worked hard to exercise new behaviors, even when I didn’t feel like it, or my out-of-shape faith muscles were sore from overuse.
Four years later, I may look virtually the same on the outside, save for a few extra wrinkles and more persistent grays. But I am not the same. I am a new creation.
I am stronger than I realized.
I’ve risen from the ashes of a dozen fires and emerged happier and healthier each time.
However, at the same time, I am keenly aware of my fragility and vulnerability, and that I cannot do it all or do any of it perfectly.
Transformation never happens without hard work and rarely happens without heartbreak as the impetus for change. There’s a popular quote circulating these days that says, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.” It addresses the fact that we can’t always see on the outside what people are going through. And although the quote refers to the hardships people face, it’s more than just that.
Because for every battle that comes our way, there is opportunity for victory and transformation.CLICK TO TWEET
It’s true that when real and lasting change is enacted, you (and others) will experience positive results. But for the most part, it really is experiential. You can’t always see it with your eyes. And unlike those weight loss and body transformation photos, it’s hard to capture the progress that’s being made along the way. But it doesn’t mean nothing’s happening.
I can be both victim and perpetrator of the comparison game, especially when it comes to those before-and-after photos. Perhaps I’d be able to better celebrate the visible successes of others if I learned how to properly celebrate the ones I’ve achieved on the inside.
Everyone who chooses to do what it takes to really thrive should be celebrated. For their courage. Their determination. The sheer will to break out of their personal status quo. Your transformation story is uniquely yours and worthy of celebration–so share your before and after story.
Chances are, it will inspire others to transform their lives, too.