Jeremy Statton

Living Better Stories

On Becoming: Part 1 Becoming Summer

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Is there something you want to do or someone you want to become, but never seem to manage it?

Lose weight?
Organize your desk? Your home? Your life?

It is common for me to hear people say something like, “I want to lose weight. But I just can’t. No matter how hard I try, it doesn’t happen.”

Our problem with becoming someone different doesn’t seem to be in the knowing what we want to do. Most of us have a very clear picture of the person we want to be.

The issue is in the becoming.

Becoming Summer

The change that occurs every spring always amazes me. For months all of the trees and the grass and the plants seem as good as dead. The world is brown. Lifeless.

And then as the days become longer, just a little bit at a time, the world starts turning green again, just a little bit at a time. Every spring we witness a transformation. If we only experienced the newness of green, it would be enough. But spring offers us so much more. Blue skies. Dark stormy clouds. Beautiful flowers.

Thankfully, every spring, the world becomes alive again.

photo by

photo by westpark

Becoming is a process. It is not something we actually get done, but something we keep doing.

Continually. Slowly. Gradually. And it never stops.

With the seasons and the grass and the leaves, they are always changing. Always going through process. Always transforming. At times it feels that everything has stopped, but just because you can’t see the change doesnt mean it isn’t there. The grass under your feet is growing right now.

It is no different for you. Today you are a little bit different than you were yesterday. You are not the same person. How could you be? Yesterday you made decisions. You spoke with people. You saw the sun rise. You read part of an article or a book.

All of these experiences, no matter how little, shape you. You are always becoming.

The question to ask is what are you becoming?

Why is it So Hard to Become?

While we are always becoming, we are rarely becoming what we want. Why is is so hard to do something we want to do so badly? I see two reasons we struggle.

1. We love big concepts.

Most of us only want the summer. We don’t want the in between stage of spring.

If it were an option, we would skip it all together. We want the beautiful green, leaf-filled trees. We want warm days filled with ice cream and baseball games.

We don’t want sprouts and shoots and the breaking through of old hard bark. We don’t want cold mornings and warm afternoons. We don’t want wet, rainy days.

But it is this same gloomy, dampness that gives the trees life.

Summer never comes without spring. We will never become the low body fat, chiseled abs model on the cover of the magazine overnight. We will never become the experienced guru who speaks in front of thousands in a few weeks. We will never become a loving, caring person without wading through our own selfishness.

Most of us desire becoming an ideal, when we should really desire the process that changes us.

2. We want the magic pill.

Most of us only want to wake up to discover it is summer. We don’t want the work of breaking through hard ground as a tiny, vulnerable sprout.

When we fall in love with a big concept we often search for a quick and easy solution to get us there. Diet pills and weight loss surgery to make us thinner. The lottery to make us rich. A new relationship to make us happy.

If it seems that the summer comes suddenly, it is only because we aren’t paying attention. We are not counting our days. Summer doesn’t arrive overnight. There is no magic pill for a tree to clothe itself with the green of its leaves. It happens slowly. But it does happen.

It only seems to arrive quickly because it is arriving constantly.

Summer is the result of small changes that add up together into something noticeable. And beautiful. (Tweet that.)

It happens so slowly, I have never seen my grass grow. But in a few days, my yard will need to be cut again.

A Season

Spring is nearly over. For the most part it is practically over, but the trees keep becoming. While we sit back and enjoy the shade of the leaves, the tree is busy. Preparing for another change. The tree is storing up food for winter. It is growing thicker and stronger. It is depending its roots, reaching down where there is always water.

Summer seems like a place of destination. It is anything but. Summer is merely a time, a season, to become something more. To keep changing. To grow.

To stretch our limbs upwards toward the heavens.

Are you in the process of becoming?

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About Jeremy Statton

Jeremy is a writer and an orthopedic surgeon. When not ridding the world of pain, he helps you live a better story. Follow him on Twitter or Facebook or Google +.

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6 Replies

  1. What a beautiful picture you painted. I get impatient sometimes when I don’t see change. But, looking at it this way, I do see that many small changes have occurred over the months and even years. “The breaking through of the old hard bark.” Thank you.

  2. As an e-mail subscriber, I always read your posts in my inbox. Yet, I’m afraid I neglect to click over and actually leave a comment from time to time. (Sorry.) I appreciate your words and the spirit you offer them in. This title, “On Becoming,” especially drew me. We’re always a work in progress. Always becoming.

    I’m so thankful each season is part of a larger cycle of growth.

    Great post.

  3. CM Logan

    I see the whole “Get rich quick” mentality spilling over into weight lose, business building, and even relationships. It’s encouraging to get a dose of reality knowing it takes time and effort to Summer. Thanks!

  4. katina vaselopulos

    Always enjoy your inspiring posts! Life demands my full attention lately and haven’t been able to spend it on comments.

    This series of Becoming posts is especially dear to me since I also see my self becoming and was inspired in that by watching my garden change from day to day!

    I have included an small essay about becoming in my soon to bublish book. I would love to share with you, if you could take a few minutes to read it.
    My e-mai address:
    Blessings and Light

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