Hawaiʻi is the incarnation of the word “fecund” which is defined as: “Producing or capable of producing an abundance of offspring or new growth; fertile.” Everywhere that I have gone in Hawaiʻi vines drip out of trees, orchids are planted around houses the way Mainlanders plant marigolds, and meles arise out of every celebration! Growth is characteristic of anything that is alive and that applies to us as well as to plants! However sometimes we become stuck, held hostage by a way of thinking, habitual ways of reacting or by undisciplined emotions. In the frustration of such a situation we sometimes throw ourselves a pity-party, convinced that “it’s just no use” and that we will never be any different than we are right now. We become tempted to cynically think that “I have grown all I can.”
Have you ever tried to introduce a baby to its first taste of baby-food? You get a spoonful in their mouth and they spit it out. You try to get a second spoonful in and they twist, turn, shriek and carry on like they’re being slaughtered. Like babies sometimes what we need is what we don’t want. For example if we don’t want to feel bad about ourselves then we flee any input that indicates the way we are is not so hot. The problem with this avoidance is that if the way that we are or think is preventing our growth… and therefore our happiness… the very happiness for which we yearn requires that we see ourselves as we really are! We can only grow from where and who and how we really are!
The fact is that what frightens or saddens us about ourselves can be accepted by us as a motivator for our change and our growth. It is possible for our half-empty and faulty self to be seen as half-full, to see that how we are is simply the ground out of which our mature self can emerge. Unless we give up then there is always a chance for us to grow and change. Yes, we have weaknesses, faults and deficits… but so what? These only define us if we refuse to use what we see about ourselves as the standard against which we measure who we no longer want to be! We can either choose to grow or we can lick our wounded ego and remain the source of our own misery!