This past year was one of profound change for me. The biggest impact was the loss of my father. If you’ve lost a parent or other loved one, you know what I am talking about. All through his illness, I kept wondering if he would get better as he had so many times before. The doctor told us there was no cure for his condition and it would gradually get worse. It was difficult to talk about and we kept hoping the doctor would be wrong.
It seemed like we were slogging through life, relishing the good times and fearing the times he would be back in the hospital and might not come home. Eventually, his disease got worse and he died. Toward the end, when it was evident his health was not improving, we began to have the conversations about death and dying and what it would be like without Dad. I had many treasured one-on-one conversations with my father about life, death and what happens when we die. Six months later we still miss Dad and life is different without his presence, his wisdom and his gentlemanly manners.
No doubt you’ve been through periods of change and transition as well. Moving for a job or for family reasons, loss of a loved one, loss of a job, divorce or even happy transitions like having a baby or a promotion at work can rock your world.
When I look back over the changes in my life including living in over 20 residences (my husband was in the Air Force,) many jobs, raising a family, living in six states and one foreign country to name a few transitions, I realize that part of going through change has built resilience and optimism about the future in me.
There are two important things to do during change and transition to help you build resilience and a sense of optimism and help you minimize the stress that can accompany transistion:
1. Acknowledge that you will experience all types of feelings. Talk about them with people you trust. If it is uncomfortable to talk about them publicly, then write them down in a journal so you can process them as they occur.
2. Find some quiet time every day to reflect, recharge and reconnect with your inner guidance, whether that is through prayer, meditation, journaling or simply taking a nap.
Whether you welcome the change or it is a transition that you have no choice about, you will increase your ability to stay composed and focused during difficult times in your life with these practices.