really real

Sometimes I'm not sure how to receive it -- or process it -- when someone points out growth they've seen in me. I realized tonight that my tendency is to negate their words -- to think of all the reasons it isn't true.

When a friend described a change she can see in me as a result of some intentionality on my part, I immediately brushed it off. I justified it. Excused it. Maybe what she noticed isn't really the result of what I'd like to think it is. Maybe I just seem to have improved because of all these external factors rather than an internal change.

And then I caught myself. Wide-eyed, I froze -- like a child caught in her mom's makeup, lipstick held to her lips.

In regard to this specific area of growth, I'd trusted for an outward, visible evidence. Why, then, am I so willing, so quick, to forfeit that? To excuse it away?

I made a choice in that instant of awareness to reach out and grab it. To fully acknowledge her comment. To embrace it like a tangible form of my freedom, growth, change.

When I see it as something I can hold in my hand, put in my pocket, it makes it feel more real. Or rather, I feel it more real-ly.