Change is a part of life. Weather changes. Last week it was warm and dry, this week it is cold and rainy. Seasons change. Summer is gone and fall is here with its red, orange, and yellow leaves. A new moon gives way to a full moon. Days are becoming shorter, with a little less sunlight each day. These changes become a part of the rhythm of my life. Changes that are predictable. Changes that I look forward to.
There are also changes as a result of choice. Some choices change my life in minor ways and others send ripples through my life in dramatic ways. My most recent life altering choice was to leave my home in Portland, Oregon, pack my stuff into a trailer, and drive 4,500 miles in order to attend the Pastoral Counseling program. This change, no matter its impact and therefore challenges, was by choice. As a result, the stress associated with all the changes in my life is, in many ways, expected. I also have expectations of when all of these major changes will become routine and when the sense of change will decrease. Like a large rock thrown into a pond, I can count on the ripples eventually dissipating.
Then there are changes that are neither predictable nor by choice. These changes have spun my world, shattered expectations, and caused me to lie broken on the floor in pieces. I could never have predicted their appearance and I often cannot predict when the ripples will dissipate. Yet these unexpected changes have also been the changes from which I have risen stronger, leaving behind in the ashes the parts of me I no longer need.
Since arriving in Maryland, my choice like Pandora’s box has quickly transformed into unexpected change. My knee jerk reaction is to resist, minimize, and deny what the change is allowing me to learn about myself. I have to actively work at resisting these urges and instead embrace this tidal wave of change as a window of opportunity for healing. I have learned the hard way over the years that embracing change is the best way forward, but it has been highly inconvenient. Lying in pieces on the floor does not go well with being in graduate school. Despite the inconvenience, I attempt to be grateful for my inward desire to be whole, for the opportunity to heal, and my strength to continually change.
My faith (both in myself and the metaphysical) is what I hold onto in the midst of change. Change is what I hope to be all about, changing myself, and helping others find the change they want for themselves. It is why I have chosen this career field. Change is terrifying, but it is also inspiring. May the changes before us inspire us.