How many people have felt like Stretch Armstrong? Like life is pulling you in multiple directions and the pressure from the stretching is just too much? Before you give up, before you allow this to rattle you, remember that the phase of our lives serves a purpose. And while it may be uncomfortable, you shouldn’t resist it.
Often times, when we’re being stretched, it’s for our own growth. And if we’re not careful, we’ll miss that. We’ll fight it. I mean scream and kick and throw tantrums kind of fight it. It gets ugly. But no matter how we react to it, if we want to grow, if we want to be the best version of ourselves possible, we have to eventually welcome the stretching.
Let me share a personal example. When I met my wife, I knew our relationship would stretch me. I came into our relationship with my stuff- insecurities, fears, poor communication, selfishness, pride, etc. And I, like many people, had this attitude like, “This is who I am, take it or leave it.” And she, on the other hand, was like, “That’s not who you are, stop the madness.” For the last, almost eight years, that we’ve been together, I have been stretched, like Stretch Armstrong, stretched. I’ve been stretched out of my fears, stretched out of these limited, one-dimensional perceptions of love and marriage, stretched out of poor behaviors. And I’ve realized that the stretching has helped me become a better person. I did not lose anything that didn’t need to be surrendered. I certainly did not lose myself. In fact, I found my true self under all of the stuff I was too afraid to let go of. The stretch did not change me as a person, it introduced me to the person I was destined to become.
That’s one example, I could share countless others. Perhaps you’re being stretched at your job? Perhaps your children are stretching you? And while it’s easy to frustrated, discouraged or even defensive, don’t. In every experience that stretches you, there’s a purpose and a lesson. When your job stretches you, it could be preparing you for that next promotion. When your children stretch you, it could be teaching you a lesson on patience and grace. It’s uncomfortable. It’s not always fun. But you will walk away a better person if you do not resist it.
Just think about happens to the body if it does not stretch. It gets tight. It loses its flexibility. It becomes more prone to injury. It cannot function at its best without stretching. Similarly, we cannot reach our full potential without stretching.
So the next time you’re feeling like Stretch Armstrong and you feel yourself getting tense, relax, release and trust the process. There’s transformative power in the stretch.