Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Coping Through Transition From The Old To The New

Every positive change - every jump to a higher level of energy and awareness - involves a rite of passage. Each time to ascend to a higher rung on the ladder of personal evolution, we must go through a period of discomfort. I have never found an exception. Dan Millman

Each change in life is an opportunity for growth, but some changes require a period of transition from letting go of the old to embracing the new. These transition periods may be almost unnoticeable or painfully profound, depending upon the situation. At times like this, we may want to cling to the familiar, but change is inevitable, and it requires that we accept the transitional state and move through it. This is part of the process.

Do you ever feel stuck, like you're spinning your wheels and going nowhere--you're leaving something behind, but not yet moving in a new direction? This can feel like a dark tunnel with no way out and no end to it. A change is taking place, and you're in transition.

 It's a strange feeling, and you don't know how to live it. Examples: You've never been between jobs before, and you don't know how to live idle days. You've just lost your spouse, and you don't know how to deal with the pain and learn to live alone. Your last child just married and moved out, and the house seems so empty. You've developed an illness that's partially incapacitating, and you don't know how you can live a full life now. You've lost your retirement fund, and you don't know how you will manage financially. (That last one happened to me)

At times, we all find ourselves in the tunnel, and we feel lost. But there are ways to live through it with inner and outer work--with an attitude of acceptance and purpose in your situation. You can walk through your tunnel and find the light, stronger and wiser than before.

In the attitude of silence the soul finds the path in a clearer light, and what is elusive and deceptive resolves itself into crystal clearness. Mahatma Gandi

Now is the time to be quiet and listen for that still small voice inside for help. You may fret and stew and/or cry buckets over your situation, but take some deep breaths, and you'll find comfort and direction in the silence. Revisit this inner self several times each day.

Reflect upon your life as you knew it. Then release what worked in the past but is no longer useful, and embrace the resources you still have. Look at your inner strengths, your coping skills, who you are. You're still you, and nothing can take that from you.

While you're waiting for something new to emerge, look at your outer situation, and be clear on what you need--a new job, comfort regarding a loss, new friends, new activities, different medical care and support, financial help? What do you want at the end of this tunnel? Specify your needs and reach out to any resource that can help you cope now and realize your goal in the future. Act on it, and make it happen.

Ask yourself what's the purpose in all this--the change, the confusion and perhaps pain, the transition to something new. Are you supposed to move to a better life position? Are you supposed to learn something? Clarify where you've been, why you're moving on, what you can learn, and what you want to take with you.

When you find yourself in a transition tunnel, pay attention to your thoughts. Are they taking you into despair or are they lifting your spirits to a higher level? While you do what's yours to do, know this is a time of preparation for the next step on your journey. And allow your life to unfold with peaceful thoughts and feelings as you move toward the light at the end of your tunnel. It's there.

May you learn and grow in peace with each transition.


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