Sociable

Monday, October 13, 2008

Strange Growth



*Picture of an old oak tree in my yard with magnolia sprouting inside.*

I've been thinking lately about what brings about growth in a person. Forced change in circumstances and traumatic events come to mind first as factors which cause us to become different. Even though both situations are negative in most cases, the results can be positive.

Example: Your spouse becomes somewhat disabled by illness or accident. This sad happening might force you to drop full time work for part time in order to be home and giving care to your loved one. In the process of all this radical change, you somehow eke out the time to begin freelancing while you're at home. And maybe this leads to a lucrative, fulfilling career change, or germinates an innate talent you weren't sure you had before. See what I mean?

The "forced" change in circumstance can come about through a job layoff, a relocation for work, care giving scenarios, a sudden inheritance of extra responsibilities, or a relationship which entails way more sacrifice than you ever expected. But just because the change suddenly fell on your head out of the blue doesn't mean it can't have positive fallout.

Most people experience growth through adversity some time in their lives. It's how you see it -- with what kind of perspective and expectations -- that makes all the difference in how things turn out.

Then there are the good things that bring growth, like unexpected connections made through networking, a sudden blossoming of a latent talent/ability, more leisure time to pursue dreams, a windfall into your gasping checking account, even a suggestion from someone on some new direction or dream you might find appealing.

However personal growth happens, I think if we see it with positive eyes, we'll be a lot more pleased with the result than if we had to be drug kicking, screaming and moaning all the way to our new destination.

Can you think of a time when a change came into your life? Did you accept it, deal with it, and make the best of things...or not?
*My morning shadow on the wall. What is the light shining through my chest? Could it be change/growth glowing within?*

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

Change is pretty scary. We work with our kids on ways to handle it and what we have found that works is to prepare as best you can and control what you can and we will work together to get through the rest.
Still trying to get the hang of it for myself.
Oren

Angie Ledbetter said...

Pretty good motto for life in general, even for us olders, Oren. ;)

Kathryn Magendie said...

Cool photo! I love taking shadow photos and have a bunch of them on my howling msn site...heehee...

that one is really telling, withh the light through your heart, yes, but also through your "gut"....!

Angie Ledbetter said...

KM, yeah, I do trust my gut. Glad its still got some juice in the reservoire tank. ;)

Carrie Wilson Link said...

Usually I buck change until forced to embrace it, but I'm working on that! That picture at the end is AMAZING!!!! No accidents!

Angie Ledbetter said...

Carrie, I used to buck and pitch a lot until I saw how draining, depressing and useless it was. ;) Glad you like the picture. Photos fascinate me sometimes.

Ang said...

CHANGE...it is the one important ingredient to GROWTH. I worked for 8 years as a contract painter (All God's Children)and was suddenly laid off from work. I had never worked outside my home and was terrified of what I was going to do. I decided I wanted to go to school and become a secretary. Without this change in my life, I would not be the Administrative Assistant II that I am today.

I embrace change (most of the time) because it reminds me that my life is continuously growing.

Janna Qualman said...

I completely agree about the overwhelming nature of change, especially when it's a change one didn't expect or plan.

I love your shadow picture. Something bright and warm and filling within you, I'd guess. :)

Angie Ledbetter said...

Ang said, "I embrace change (most of the time) because it reminds me that my life is continuously growing."

What a great attitude! And thanks for sharing. Coincidentally, I am involved with a ministry which helps the needy in education/school/supplies that's also called All God's Children.

Angie Ledbetter said...

Thanks, Janna. So sweet!

Barbara said...

As a career Air Force wife, I was always dealing with change. I tried to make the most of each transition and found after each new challenge, my character and resilence was a bit stronger.

Angie Ledbetter said...

That is a good byproduct of forced change, hunh, Barbara? Thank you for your family's sacrifice and service!!

The Paper Whisperer said...

Now do you see what that chickory is doing to the lining of your stomach?!!!!! That's the worst ulcer I have ever seen!!! Ouch!!! hahahahaha What a flippin' cool photo!!! I know oh so much about change! I love it and look forward to every single day and my new changes.Like Barbara, I was an Air Force brat whose life changed constantly. You see that I already changed my blog. I am constantly changing my decor, rearranging furniture,etc. I'm getting old and tired and still I feel the need to change. What's up with that?!!! Big sigh!!! Now go change your coffee to decaf for pity's sake!!!!

colbymarshall said...

The biggest thing in my life recently was making a decision to not go on with pursuing veterinary medicine because of health reasons...I have chronic migraine syndrome, and it was such a hard choice to make, but it was a good one for me and has allowed me a lot of freedom to work on other paths in life.

Lori said...

Hon, my current freelance career is the direct result of an unfortunate incident. When I was fired (not unexpectedly), I had to pick myself up instantly and get a career going. What better time, in fact? It was a blessing, for it forced me to do what I'd been dreaming of doing.

Angie Ledbetter said...

P.S. to the writer folks:
Lori has an important post today about getting ripped off on your work --->
http://loriwidmer.blogspot.com/2008/10/on-being-late.html

Patresa Hartman said...

hey, and here you are!

change change change! yes, such opportunity for growth. i hate it and crave it at the same time. totally exhilerating.

growth from adversity rocks my socks. self-justified "retreat" due to perceived victimization by adversity does NOT rock my socks. i love it when people choose the former.

cool photo, ms. angie.

Melody said...

I left a monster job and sat around thinking for two weeks, "What the heck am I good at and what am I going to do with myself."

Then I remembered how hard I had worked for that monster job. I suddenly realized that if I could work that hard for people who didn't care about me, I could work even harder on my writing career.

So that change led me to where I am now. Thanks for reminding me how change has helped me.

Melody Platz
www.writerscomfycorner.com

Avid Writer said...

I love hearing stories about how others came to take the leap. "Unfortunate" circumstances led to my freelancing career just as it did for many others who have commented. Honestly, I don't think I would have had the guts to jump in and just get started if the situation hadn't been so desperate at the time. It's one of the best decisions I ever made.

Angie Ledbetter said...

*clap clap* for you, Avid. No matter that you were shoved vs. taking the leap, you got started, and that's what matters! ;)

Candy said...

My kids growing up has forced wonderful change in me. Forced me to focus more on myself--Less on them. The whole fly be free stuff!

Angie Ledbetter said...

Melody, I applaude your attitude. Much continued success.

Candy, your blog recipes make me drool. I hear ya on the grown kids leading to change experience. ;)

Linda said...

Oh my, YES, I can think of a time when change came into my life. I fought against it with every fiber of my being. I likened it to a butterfly pinned down by a collecter (you know the kind with the pin wright through the middle of the body?. It was only when I got to the point of surrender and I let go that the lessons I needed to learn came to me.

Nana Net said...

Having my hip replaced 7 years ago totally changed my life! More so because of the fact that I was only 38 years old, and knew that there were a lot of things I would not be able to experience now! Still though it through my family into overdrive with their concerns and worries. Guess cause they all knew me oh too well.

The bottom line is that even though my life dramatically changed from the day of the surgery. I have seen the true reason as to why it was meant to be. Which is that I was going to be needed in other ways and areas I never could have imagined!

So, yes at first I hated the change! But then as time marched on I fell in love with it!

Blessings and enjoy your week.

Nana Net

GardenAuthor said...

Love the magnolia/oak photo and the reflective mood you've induced in me. Food for thought while I go out and hack away, with a pole pruner, at my wayward linden.

Angie Ledbetter said...

Linda, a lot of people don't realize how powerful surrender is, in many ways.

Nana, sounds like you have a much bigger inspirational story behind these words. Kudos to you nd hope you write it all out one day!

Have a good workout, G.A. Glad you'll have something fun to think about while you prune.

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