Put In A Good Word: Transformation

by Kathryn Cohan and Sylvia Caras

adapted and reprinted from Westward Union, Fall 2001


     Our lives seem not to follow a traditional linear path but appear more like advancing spirals. We relapse and recuperate, we decide and rebuild, we awaken to life and recover/discover, and then we spiral again. This spiral journey is one of renewal and integration.

     For some of us, the dynamic nature of this process leads to what can only be described as transformation.

     Transformation integrates the "self-as-altered" states we move through with the "self-as-whole" states we also experience. Transformation is the certain knowledge that one experience is no more to be valued than the other. Transformation accepts the vulnerable, perhaps less developed, parts of ourselves.

     Transformation owns having been changed by complex multiple internal and external events and processes. Transformation is an experience of being more as a result of having had unusual perceptions and experiences, and valuing them rather than trying to proceed through life as if these things had not happened, or did not happen, or could not happen again.

     Recovery and rehabilitation imply that something was once broken and then fixed. Transformation implies the proverbial making of lemonade after life hands you lemons. It is the lesson, hard learned, of the opportunity available in the midst of crisis that can evoke a substantive change within ourselves.