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  • Writer's pictureAlanna Grayce

Episode 31: Grace, Gratefulness and Growth

This has been a difficult one for me to write.

I focus a lot on growth, right? That was like my BIG thing a few years ago especially, when I went through some of the most impressive self-growth challenges I’ve ever encountered. Like I was doing the damn thing y’all. I was inspiring others, I was being called zen, I was overcoming a massive heartbreak and the growing pains that come with the freedom of being a college graduate working full time. Like I was really doing well.

But then I met Adam, and I got distracted. And that’s my own fault. So I had this year of tumultuous energy that I wasn’t channeling anywhere productive, because I wasn’t focusing on myself enough. My grandmother got sick and I spent the whole summer at the hospital with her, my grandfather got sick and I was spending time worrying about him, and the whole time my dad is deployed on a mission in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East is suddenly threatening to erupt. I spent so, so much focusing on others needs, and fulfilling them. I forgot myself and that really started taking a toll.

So then I start trying to retake my life, right? Adam and I plan a trip for Ireland right after Christmas, and it’s incredible. We have the best time. And then we get home, and less than a week later my grandfather passes away. And that absolutely devastates me, and just sends me on a spiral.

So then at this point I am losing control of my emotions, I can’t handle anything, I’m breaking down in tears ALL the time, I’m yelling over stupid things… basically I have a nervous breakdown, and when I realize how it’s damaging my relationships with my boyfriend and my two best friends, Taylor and Allison, I’m like shit. I have to do something. So I call my mommy crying and I tell her there is something wrong with me and I need help. She goes to the doctor with me, I get bloodwork done, everything, and we discover that basically I’m perfectly healthy in the body. But I have terrible anxiety, and that’s why I had lost control of my emotions. So I get put on medication. (I have a whole episode on My Mental Health Journey, so if this sounds really familiar to you I recommend you go check that out!)

Since then I’ve been trying to regain control, but in the wake of a global pandemic it’s super hard. I am absolutely sure that a lot of my listeners can relate to this story, because we’ve all been through a super traumatic year. Jobs lost, people are uprooted, just all this absolute shite happening and we are expected to continue acting like normal people???

And then, I have this idea looming over my head, that I’m not the person I used to be, and that I am somehow less than because of that. I LOVED who I was when I was going through all of that growth a few years ago. I was writing these thoughtful things with zero effort, I was realizing who i am and what I'm worth. I miss that Alanna, with so much peace in her heart and no worries.

But I realize that I can’t go back to that peace in my heart unless I let go, and give myself grace. I can’t ever be that Alanna again, because as amazing as she was and as much as i love her, she isn’t around anymore. I’ve got new scars, I’ve loved new people, I’ve been new places and I’ve lost more than she would expect. I know now, that the plans she made fall through. And that’s hard. Like, really hard. But I am learning to be grateful for where I am, and for who I am, and to give myself grace as I grow into the next version of myself.

We don’t have to be at peace with ourselves during the growing. I think a lot of people will tell you to seek the peace- and that’s fair, seek the peace. But give yourself GRACE. Growth is painful, friends. Growth takes a lot out of you, but give yourself the grace of knowing that it will all be worth it because when you come out on the other side of that chrysalis you will be a butterfly, not just the lil slimy caterpillar that you were before. You will have changed so much, maybe you can’t even recognize yourself- and that is amazing. Those changes are part of life. Like, what is life if we aren’t constantly changing, constantly flowing and growing? It’s boring and static and we don’t really get anywhere. We don’t find ourselves, we don’t find any enlightenment. Maybe we find satisfaction in sitting in one place but damn how boring is that?

But like I said, we have to learn to be grateful for what we have and for who we are. We have to challenge ourselves, to grow into the better versions of ourselves that the Lord and the Universe would have us become. And we have to give ourselves grace, because we are stumbling through the sand and we never know when the tide will pull our step from beneath us. We don’t know who we will be tomorrow, or who we will be in a year. And grace is essential to us growing through what we go through, if you will. Forgiving ourselves for making changes that maybe we don’t want to make- outgrowing a friend that we love, or becoming too self aware to continue connecting with that toxic family member- whatever it is, however we grow, we have to trust ourselves an universe and find peace that as long as we seek to improve ourselves, things are only going to improve. It’s when we stop working on ourselves, stop wanting to improve- that’s when we really suffer, and for what? Because when you’re suffering a little to grow, that’s fine. You know there’s better later. But if you’re suffering just because you can’t get yourself out of the hole, or because you won’t ask for help- then there’s no point in that my dudes.

Y’all this is me, coming to you honestly. I encourage you with all of my heart to seek out growth. Challenge yourself. Give yourself grace in your falters and failures. And be grateful for where you are, who you are, who you’ve been and who you are becoming. We are only here for a little while- why aren’t we all trying o be the absolute best versions of ourselves!!! But let me tell you- thank requires grace with ourselves and others.

I love you guys. I am so grateful for the community we are creating. I give myself grace as I learn, as I become who I am and as I improve in bringing you all what’s on my heart. I am growing, you are growing. Let’s challenge each other, and grow beautifully together.

Happy Thanksgiving, sweet friends!!!

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