I have been working as a therapist and life coach for thirty years. During this time, I have met many wonderful people and assisted them to find hope, health, happiness and contentment in the midst of a variety of life circumstances. I have discovered that the individuals who are the most successful are the individuals who are willing to take an honest inventory of their life and circumstances, to own their own personal responsibility for the situation that they are currently in and are willing to act with courage and conviction in order to transform their lives into that which means the most to them. Most often, people will come in for therapy complaining about another person or persons whom they believe are blocking them from happiness, well being and the goals that they have for their lives. I assist people to engage in an honest life inventory taking during which all of the presenting issues are sorted out, prioritized and a plan of life transformation is developed and implemented. I accompany and support people in their quest for wholeness and happiness irrespective of what their life circumstances might be. We most often choose to live in difficult circumstances and do not know how to muster the inner faith and resources that are needed to positive transform our lives. And yet, when we find the courage and commitment to do so, we receive the gift of finding ourselves and that which we believe had been lacking in our lives that really was right in front of us.
I am reminded of the movie "Ground Hog Day" in which Bill Murray relives a certain day over and over in increasing frustration and discontent. At the end of the movie, he finds the courage to be authentic and real and honest and his life is transformed into the life that he had sought all along but was too afraid to commit to. I have found in my own life that my personal transformation has occurred when I stepped "out of the box" and I dared to think the unthinkable and I was willing to grow and makes the necessary changes to reach my own place of personal happiness and transformation. It does appear to be a lifelong process in which we work on transformation for awhile, then we integrate the changes that we have made to that point and we then work some more and make additional changes. One the first books I read in my professional training program for counseling was a book by Dr. Carl Rogers titled, "On Becoming A Person". In this book, he outlined the process each of us must take if we are to become real and authentic people living transformative lives. I was thirty years old and did not realize the full meaning of what he said but I do now and I embrace the idea that each of us must find out internal compass and chart our own path in life that leads to ultimate happiness and fulfillment and transformation. In doing so, it does not mean that we have to discard people, places and things but rather we must model that which we stand for and support ourselves and those who occupy our life space with us. Growing and transforming does not mean we have to leave people or situations although that could be a by product of the transformation process. It does not mean that we become selfish and mean and narcissistic. It simply means that we listen to our inner voice and to our spiritual guidance and we move towards a deeper level of self insight, understanding and compassion and vision. We can sometimes invite others to accompany us and some will and some will not. It is simply what it is and others may or may not be listening to their inner guidance of spiritual source. It is also often the case that we find ourselves feeling sick and tired in our lives and we accept this state of being as our destiny and we find ourselves being under motivated and not accomplishing what it is that we want to accomplish. We cannot settle for less and for mediocrity and ordinary when we can have so much more. And yet it takes courage to pursue our possibilities and our opportunities in the face of the comfortability of ordinary and typicalness. It is our decision to try or not to try! We cannot blame our situation or circumstances on anyone else when we refuse to accept the challenge of transformation and change.
When we grow, change and transform, it will often lead to some degree of chaos in our lives whether it involves the people in our lives, our jobs, our families or other aspects of our environment. It is important to know that each of us must let things go in order for new things to replace them in our lives. This is a wonderful part of the transformation process. For this reason, change can sometimes be difficult and painful for a time period as we move from the old to the new. We can trust that we are going in the direction that we are supposed to go and that we just need to trust and have faith that we will arrive at the destination that is ours for the asking. When we change, we reclaim so many lost or forgotten aspects of ourselves and our lives and we can revel in the new awareness and the new insight that we mysteriously suddenly have that appears after change occurs. You can learn and grow by participating in a support program such as a 12 step program or a church program that provide you with the knowledge and skills that you need in order for you to live a life of personal transformation and hope.
Dr. John Garlock