Linda Ellis wrote an incredible poem entitled, ‘The Dash.’ It talks about the moments between our birth and death and refers to them as the dash. The dash represents how we spend our life. When you think about it the dash – our life experiences – are each absolutely one of a kind. They are the genuine articles that cannot be replicated by anyone. When you think further about what constitutes our dash it is made up of times of transitions in our lives. Our families, careers, homes, just life in general, is really a matter of learning how to accept and embrace these transitions.
Even though our lives are unique, there are predictable patterns when it comes to our transitions since they represent change. Think about the definition of change, ‘to make the form, nature, content, or future course of something different from what it is or from what it would be if left alone.’ No matter how much we try to embrace the idea of change it can still be daunting. That’s why it is called change! Yet, how many of us would want to see our lives static, doing the same thing day after day for the rest of our lives. To help embrace the changes in our lives there are a few steps to consider when we are facing major life transitions that can help us hold on and carry on through the sometimes murky waters of the as yet unknown.
We can expect to feel anxious even a bit depressed at least momentarily when we are facing a major life change. At first we may feel confused, puzzled even. We thought we couldn’t wait for this major transition in our lives and yet, gulp…all of a sudden there it is staring us in the face and we may think to ourselves. ‘I don’t know if I’m ready, or this is happening too fast…’ Our emotions are on overdrive as we try to analyze what to do next. We think to ourselves, ‘I need a plan.’ Indeed we do need a plan …in time…just not quite yet. We are in that famous place that the brilliant Dr. Seuss called, ‘The Waiting Place.’ For those of us who have tried to live by the sacred pact of always having a Plan A, B and even C, this is a trying and frustrating place to be in emotionally. We know it’s time to close up shop on the old but we are not quite ready to embrace with abandon the new. Instead we stew, fret and worry.
If you are in the proximity of ‘The Waiting Place’ you will surely know it. What may have been funny in the past – is not particularly so right now. You may be a bit touchy with others. You may even find yourself forgetting things you have always remembered and become even more uptight over it. Why do these things happen? Simply because you have allowed your mind to become caught up with the fear of the unknown. The ‘what ifs’ take over and you are caught up with worry. Just remember the saying, ‘99% of what we worry about never comes to pass’ because it is true!
The good news is that you are EXACTLY in the right frame of mind, at the right juncture of your life and facing a major life transition ahead and are a bit overwhelmed. Good for you! It means that the life you were living was worthwhile and you made significant contributions to making this world a better place. Giving up or letting go of what was and embracing what is yet to be is not for the faint hearted. Yet…there is magic in change, undiscovered treasures in starting something new and beautiful horizons yet to experience….when you are ready. When will I be ready you might ask? Oh, trust me on this, you’ll know the signs even though the future might still look a bit uncertain. There it is – you can feel the beginning of a smile way back in the recesses of your mind that you are nearly ready to expand your life and challenge yourself by facing something new. Intuitively, you know everything will work out. You know you can do it. You just needed that time in ‘The Waiting Place’ to mentally and emotionally pack your bags.
When we visualize our life as a book, each chapter uniquely written by us, we can see that we are simply finishing one chapter and are getting ready to move on to the next. We begin to get our breath again as we exhale with a new found courage knowing the next chapter will, indeed, be a great one. It takes time, courage and belief in ourselves to embrace the transitions in our lives. It is also good to remember that others have managed the transitions in their lives and are still alive and doing well. Often, talking with others who have experienced major life transitions and have a new purpose in their life can give us just the extra shot of confidence we need to remember, “All is as it should be.”
Have a great few days!