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Experiencing a ‘glow up’

By Darcy L. Fargo

Darcy Fargo

May 4, 2022

In the hobby, it’s referred to as a “glow up.”

I recently ventured into a new hobby and purchased the equipment and supplies needed to establish an aquarium with live plants. Because I was starting out with a “nano tank,” 10 gallons or less, my research and existing aquarium knowledge told me only certain types of fish and live creatures could live healthily and happily in my new 10-gallon tank.

I settled on a betta, those ornate fish often sold in cups or small containers. I purchased a small, mostly light-colored male betta with bits of pale red and blue in his flowing tail and fins.

While bettas are sold in those small containers for a reason (they are often aggressive toward other fish, especially other fish of their species), they don’t thrive in them.

After a ride home in the cup holder of my Jeep, my little betta boy was acclimated to the water in his new 10-gallon home, a tank which had been filled with plants and cycled to ensure it had all the healthy bacteria it needed to keep the water safe for him.

After two days in his new home, my betta boy’s fins and flowy tail started to change. A band of bright red formed around the edges. A day or two later, blue started showing up more prominently inside the red outer edges. As I write this, his tiny betta body is showing more hints of blue, especially when he gets mad about something and “flares.” He barely looks like the same fish.

That’s a “glow up.” These fish need good, healthy environments to show their true beauty and be the best they can be.

While the change is striking, quick and visible in bettas, aren’t we – people – the same? Our environments can influence how we behave and who we become.

If we’re surrounded by negative people or people who live unhealthy or sinful lifestyles, it makes it easier to be negative and make unhealthy or sinful decisions. When we surround ourselves with people who are on the journey of faith with us and are blessed by God with healthy, positive environments, it makes it easier for us to be the most beautiful versions of ourselves, closer to the versions of ourselves God calls us to be.

God has blessed me with a good environment surrounded by people of faith and people modeling good decisions – family, friends, colleagues, associates… It’s helped me “glow up” in a lot of ways. I pray we all find those opportunities and environments.

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