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Change is the Heartbeat of Growth

Change is the Heartbeat of Growth

By Rev. Danielle Marie Hewitt

Many years ago when I was in the process of separating from and divorcing my former husband, I was very much in tune with the feelings of our entire family, his and mine. In particular, my English mother-in-law, who feared she would be estranged from her two granddaughters as we lived in California and she in England. I could feel her sadness when I spoke to her on the telephone. One day  I  was  inspired  to  send  her  a  greeting  card and  in  it  I  wrote,  “Through  the  passage  of  time  some things change and others remain constant.” I wanted to reassure  her  that  her  relationship  with  my  daughters was as important to me as it was to her. True to  my  word  I  made  many  trips  to  England  over the  following  years  and  invited  her  and  my  father-in-law  to  come  and  stay  with  us  as  well.    Even  after  I subsequently  remarried  to  my  current  husband,  my relationship  with  them  remained  intact.  And, even now, over 20  years  later,  we  still  inquire  about  each  other and send love and greetings.

Not all change comes  with  this  much  grace  because too often we are afraid of what the changes will bring. What if we don’t like it? What if the process of it is too difficult? What if we make a mistake? What if we can’t go back to the way it was?

Change is, of  course,  inevitable,  even  if  we  think  we actually  have  the  power  to  resist  and  prevent  it.  Have you ever called someone “stubborn” or “stuck in their ways?” Has someone called you this?

I am generally okay with change because I have learned to embrace it and make the outcome as good as possible. I employ more than a silver lining attitude to it. In fact, I usually create a mindset of excitement to see what it will bring and focus on the positive aspects of it. However, from time to time, I would hear my inner voice saying “no” at the onset of something I was not prepared for, did not want to have happen or it appeared not to be going the way I wanted.

A while ago I was nominated by one of my dearest friends as a candidate for an award to recognize women who are creating change and influencing other women for the better. In the finalist profile forms I was sent were a number of thought-provoking   questions. There   was   one which remains forward in my memory. The question was “Who taught you your most important lesson in business and what was the lesson?” I answered with a memory of my uncle who I worked for in my early career.  He told me “No decision is the worst decision.  Gather as much information in any given situation and make the best decision you can with what you have. You can always course correct later as new information comes forth”.  He has passed on now but I will always remember those words as they were formative in my career. He meant keep moving forward and don’t be arrested with fear of the unknown.  The unknown will eventually reveal itself and you can deal with it when it does. Until that time, you can’t do anything about it, so move on.  He helped me become the trail blazer that I am today.

Knowing what to keep about ourselves and what to change in my opinion is one of the most powerful tools of personal intimacy we can ascribe to.  Many people raise an eyebrow when they witness how forthright I can be in dropping something that isn’t working and finding a new way of approaching it. How do I know which to keep and which to discard? Intuition, and sometimes, quite honestly, a little role of the dice.  What is most important is make a decision, to stay or move, in any given situation and know that one minute from now you have an opportunity to make new decision. Time and space are constantly moving. If we choose to move with it, we can go along for the best ride of our life. In the famous words of “The Borg” from Star Trek the Next Generation, “Resistance is futile.” Change is always for the better regardless of how we feel about it at the time, because there’s no growth without change.

By Rev. Danielle Marie Hewitt

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