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