Octavia Butler wrote, “Kindness eases change.” If we look at our transformations from a kinder perspective, it becomes quite clear: there’s no straight and easy path.
Here's what change really looks like: having flashes of insight, forgetting what you just learned, struggling to practice, being tested in challenging circumstances, feeling like you’re taking a massive step back, and wondering what you’re missing.
You might beat yourself up for this, believing that there is something wrong with you and the way you're approaching your goals. But there’s nothing wrong with you. This is just how it works. It’s how we change, through attempts and setbacks and re-learning. The process in and of itself can be a great and powerful teacher, if we acknowledge it and embrace it for the natural, beautiful unfolding of our growth that it is.
Embracing it is the kindest option, because the journey of change never ends: life continually gives us new chances to extend and deepen our character, to grow as people in the direction that is deeply meaningful to us.
As Rilke said, "The purpose of life is to be defeated by greater and greater things." Once this change is embodied, you dust yourself off and move on to the next one, seeking to express your goodness in greater and greater ways.