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Quote: Ellen Glasgow on Change

“All change is not growth, as all movement is not forward.” – Ellen Glasgow


This on the surface seems obvious: not all changes that we make or experience in our lives, are good ones. For example, we may change living situations for the worse, lose our jobs, or separate from or divorce our partners. These are usually not seen as good changes. Neither is a setback in mental health.

However, to say that not all change is growth, is another thing. In my opinion, we can derive growth from any change in our lives, and therefore, in a way, all change is growth. It may not always be apparent right away, but the growth we derive from a negative change, may unfold itself later on.

For example, when I had my mental crisis in 2007, I lost my home (not immediately, but it was a direct consequence), dropped out of college, and had to be hospitalized. These are all negative changes. However, I can say that I have grown from these changes, in the sense that I have gained self-knowledge, gotten in touch with my husband (which would not likely have happend if I had not been hospitalized) and probably some other things that I can’t think of right now. So, in a way, my mental crisis may not in itself have been a good event, but it did lead to growth.

So, can we conclude that, while not all change is direct growth, even negative change will have growth as a conseuqence? I don’t know if I can go so far as to say all change will lead to growth, but most will, if you take the right actions from it and thereby use the change to your advantage.