My wife and I were reflecting on the 25 years we have spent together as a couple when she remarked how much I have changed since then. This came as a surprise to me given that I feel that I am still exactly the same person with the same values and dreams that I had when I arrived as a German graduate student in the US. Today I am more decisive and assertive perhaps, but still as kind and idealistic as in the olden days.
When I asked her how, she responded that today I have a sense of humor whereas before I didn't. Well, I have to thank the Anglo-Saxon culture for this transformation. We Germans aren't exactly famous for our humor. When I thought a bit more about my changes, I also realized that today I am in touch with my feelings and understand the energy of the environment I am operating in. Then, I was mostly mind-driven and pretty clueless about how others perceived the world.
Yet all that change came at a price. Becoming a diamond takes high pressures, high temperatures and lots of time to make that transformation from coal complete. Emigrating to a different country at age 25 was certainly one of these transformative forces at work. Surviving and blossoming in high pressure work environments both at graduate school and later in the financial industry left their marks as well.
I have not given up on any of my dreams and spiritual aspirations and neither should you. Yet I would be dishonest if I didn't add that living a spiritual philosophy at times takes an iron-will commitment. The pressure will force us to find a way to remove our inner conflicts, our naiveté and all other self-imposed interferences. Yes, we can sculpt the person we are meant to be but we have to allow life to help us a little in the sculpting process. GOD will give us love, meaning and peace of mind in whatever we do but we have to see HIS MISSION through.