How many kids decide what they want to be when they grow up and never change their dream? I wonder if there’s a single life insurance agent in the history of the universe who knew in third grade that selling insurance was her life’s path? Personally, I will admit that I changed my college major three times in my freshman year. We’ve all changed jobs, ended relationships, moved our homes, and bought new cars. Each one of us has made, I venture to guess, dozens of fresh starts, and our next one might just be around the corner.

Change takes courage. It involves risks. And mistakes. But mostly, we need to acknowledge and understand that it’s a reality.

I’m not lying when I say I’m resistant to change. Unless it’s my own idea, of course. But here’s the thing: making a fresh start is actually a gift. It’s life providing us with the opportunity for a do-over. Re-inventing ourselves is a privilege, not a burden.

Look at my journey. Seven years ago, my husband died unexpectedly.   Within a month after his death, I found myself being sued by my step-daughter over the family business. In the midst of my grief, I was being put into a battle against my will and against my better judgment. Ultimately, and after I spent a ton of money on attorneys’ fees, the lawsuit was settled. But the relationship between my step-daughter and me was irreparably and permanently severed.

Looking for a better way to resolve conflict, I found mediation, and I found my fresh start.

When change is not our own idea, but an inevitable result of someone else’s, it’s easy to wallow in what once was. We all know people who are caught up in the past, living with regret and the “what ifs.” Mediators are trained to help people validate their past and then move forward, making a fresh start.

If you think you might want some guidance through a conflict, I’d like to suggest that you view that conflict with an eye towards making a fresh start. And consult with a mediator, of course. Like me, for instance: