Tag: changes

Welcoming Change

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We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.

– Joseph Campbell

It’s natural to take comfort in the things we know—even if they aren’t best for us or we know they aren’t working for us—but keep in mind that we often limit what is possible when we avoid or resist change. Sometimes, better things—things we didn’t dare hope for, anticipate, or imagine can come into our lives when we create room for them. That means a necessary first step is a shift from our old way of thinking into a new one.

In this post, Support yourself through transitions by changing your thoughts, I shared how to shift your beliefs and perceptions when we face transitions and changes. Most people acknowledge that change is a part of life and something we “have to deal with.” However, what if we were able to welcome change?

Staying the same takes more effort than allowing change. Have you ever decided you didn’t want things to change and did everything in your power to resist it? Was that easy to do, or hard? Did you succeed in keeping the status quo? Most likely, it took a great deal of energy and time—not to mention stress—to fight the change, and resulted in change anyhow.

Not convinced that allowing change is something that can come naturally to you? Think of it this way: We are all made up of molecules. Molecules are always in a state of change. Therefore, whether or not we are aware of it, WE are always in a state of change. If we are in a constant state of flux, then change is one of our instinctual qualities. Can you see that change can be an ally instead of an enemy? My post, Shifting Your Perspective to Relieve Stress, Anxiety, and Anger, is an additional resource to support you in welcoming change.

We may experience fear and stress as we are forced to adjust to new circumstances and the chance that we will experience what we see as failure or other negative outcomes. With time and a supportive attitude, we can acclimate and welcome change. We may even look back and realize that the change, which initially caused us discomfort, opened a world of new possibilities.


A Holistic Approach to Grieving

NPR ran a story about Veterans with PTSD. A client sent me this line from it, “ … all people have the ability to reason, unless they’re grieving. So oftentimes I ask the veterans, “If you can’t reason, what is it you’re grieving?”

We often believe that relationships are to be permanent, yet loss and grieving is a theme in our lives. Somewhere along our path someone dies or will be left behind. Loss of a relationship plays a significant part in all of our lives. As many of us define ourselves by our relationships, we may believe something is wrong with us if we do not keep our friends for life.

What I have learned is that relationships come and go from our lives. When someone dies, leaves us, moves away or becomes estranged, it may be a double loss: the loss of the relationship itself, and the loss of the relationship as a source of our identity, of who we think we are.

If you have been the dependent partner in a relationship you will find yourself after the loss of a relationship, through divorce or death, forced to undertake tasks that you never dreamed of. It is through these tasks that a new sense of self will evolve. You may have a new career or the education you always wanted but did not have time for.

Whenever we are forced to let go of something or someone a psychological death occurs and we need to grieve for our loss. Death comes in many forms; it may be an aspect of ourselves, our youthful qualities, our health, or a dream that is no more. Or it may be a relationship that is ended.

With every death or mini-death a rebirth occurs; something of value is growing inside us. Through acceptance and allowing ourselves to grieve the loss, we can grow and develop wisdom. How we react to the constant changes that occur in our lives is probably the only aspect of any relationship that we have choice over.

Allowing ourselves time to grieve without justifying or judging our reason for grieving is vital for healing our wounds. Recognizing that you may experience grief very differently than other people is often key to allowing ourselves to grieve. When we try to grieve the way we ‘think we are supposed to’ or ‘the way we have seen others grieve’, we are in judgment of ourselves and this will stop us from grieving and healing.

Elizabeth Kübler Ross lists 5 stages of grieving Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance. Whether we like it or not, we humans will go through each of these stages in our healing process. To stop them is to stop ourselves from healing.

An exercise I often recommend for grieving is the following:

  • Once a day for 21 minutes, sit quietly. Light a candle that you have purchased for this exercise. During the 21 minutes watch the candle and allow your thoughts to focus on what you are grieving.
  • Do this everyday for 21 days, and then discard what remains of the candle.