Adapting to change is an ongoing part of life. Often I think of the Charles Darwin quote: “It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive, but those who can best manage change.” Some changes are easy while others are difficult; some anticipated and planned for, while others hit us out of the blue.
A startling change occurred for me when I applied for a psychology master’s degree program. I asked a colleague to write an endorsement letter, to which he readily agreed. When I received word I was not accepted, I was very surprised and disappointed, as well as confused. However, I changed course and applied for a master’s degree in mental health nursing instead.
During the interview for the nursing program, I learned that my colleague’s endorsement was in fact derogatory, despite his assurances he would support me. As I thought about my relationship with him, I remembered he once said he did not agree with my views about religion or spirituality. At the time I did not view this as a problem, as we continued to work together amicably. Now I felt betrayed and insulted. When the interviewer removed the document from my file and handed it to me, saying I could do what I liked with it, I tore it to shreds.
All my other endorsements were positive, and so I was accepted into the nursing program. After earning my nursing masters and receiving an outstanding student award, I applied for the psychology PhD program, this time bolstered by many letters of recommendation.
My initial setback transformed into a stepping-stone to something that ultimately was more beneficial than I had aimed for! I completed the PhD as quickly as possible, followed by a year’s internship under the guidance of experienced psychologists, passed the state board exam, and then opened a private practice. Since there was a shortage of psychologists in the city where I lived, I soon had a thriving practice.
This was not the walk down the path that I had originally anticipated, but accepting the circumstances as they happened led me on an extremely rewarding journey. Change is a constant in our lives. It can potentially lead us into anxiety and fear, or it can be the catalyst to embrace the flow of the feminine, as we have discussed before: to ground ourselves in self-knowledge and to weave our own destiny.
Without doubt, readers of this blog have also had many changes in their lives—some more outstanding than others. How do you handle change? Descriptions of changes that were transformative in a positive way would be inspiring for other readers and are most welcome!