This I Believe
I believe in the unexpected and the unexplained; I guess you could say I believe in the mystery of life, change, and healing.
I am a 64-year-old woman, and I first began to experience this mystery at the age of 19. I believed that since I was so old and had never fallen in love, I probably never would. Then I met dark, handsome, foreigner 12-years older than myself and unexpectedly I did fall in love. I can’t explain how this sexy, mesmerizing storyteller also had the qualities of a good husband and father. I didn’t know when I married him that he was fiercely loyal and responsible.
As a young woman in college and graduate school I was shy and afraid to talk to my professors. I feared embarrassing myself. I was sure that if I opened my mouth in class, everyone would discover how ignorant I really was. I thought I was a boring conversationalist, and felt inferior to other people, even though I was in a Harvard University Ph.D. program. Then I became a parent. Without knowing how this happened, I started to change. I felt more confident. To my amazement, I gradually noticed that I was as good a parent as other people. When one of my children was tested by the school psychologist, I even thought that I could do that job better. This was totally unexpected.
Now I am a psychologist and a psychotherapist. When I meet a new client with serious problems, I often think, “How could I possibly help this person?” Of course, I don’t say that to the client. Then I am forced to rely on my belief in the unexplained and mysterious process of healing. I remember the shy, insecure, anxious young man who still lived with his parents and was afraid to talk on the phone. I was gratified when he moved out on his own and made a toast at his best friend’s wedding. But I never expected him to start his own business.
Once a bright but depressed and suicidal teen unexpectedly revealed that she had been stealing money from her parents since the age of 10. She had also been shoplifting from many businesses in the community. She had this terrible secret and couldn’t tell her parents. She was afraid they would kick her out. When she was able to tell her parents and apologize to them, they didn’t do what she expected. Instead they forgave her and still loved her.
I recently moved across the country after living in California for 39 years. That is something I never thought I would do. Unexpected possibilities are already blooming in my new community.
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