You’ve stepped into the powerful stream of life that will bring you where you are destined to land. You cannot force it, control it or direct it. Fighting it, trying to hold on to the old will only delay the inevitable.
But, something else is equally true: you are no victim. You are simply being given an opportunity to evolve, grow and learn. Your 'light at the end of the tunnel' isn't surviving this--it's to rise above the pain, the fear and the overwhelm; to be propelled to your next stage.
Here is how to survive the change as easily and gracefully as possible.
Be gentle on yourself
Every major life event (good or bad) brings with it a dissolving of your former self, destruction and a breakdown of business-as-usual ways of living. It’s going to shake you, change you in ways you cannot yet see, and mold you into the new you. Like a butterfly emerging from a cocoon, you will need to complete the process of transformation before you can spread your wings and fly.
You must break down before you are ready to find the new you.Tweet this. This calls for self-compassion, patience, acceptance and love, not brute force.
Give yourself time
To grieve. To process. To contemplate. Reflect on what happened, what you lost and what you gained. Note what you are observing, learning and where you are growing.
Rest, Comfort and Pamper
Change is hard. Breakdowns are almost an inevitable, expected companion of change. Don’t power through them—it’ll only delay the process. Slow down, give yourself time to process, take in change, just be. Wrap yourself in the familiar and comfortable. Cozy under a blanket with a good book, wear a cashmere, visit with Ben and Jerry, watch your favorite movie, sleep in, slow down.
Let go of trying to ‘get your life back’— life is a ‘can’t step into the same river twice’ sort of thing. Let go of trying to force outcomes. Do take necessary actions, by all means, but be weary of forcing things out of fear and discomfort.
Let go of unreasonable demands on yourself and others during this time. Let go of perfectionism—it’s going to be messy, just accept it.
Accept what is
Don’t rage against the change. Ultimately, there is no ‘good’ change or ‘bad’ change—there’s just change. The sooner you accept the reality of where you are now, the sooner you’ll be ready to recalibrate and move on. Note that acceptance doesn’t mean approval or endorsement of the thing in question—it merely indicates that you are seeing the thing exactly as it is—no longer denying it or making futile attempts to reverse it.
Live a day at a time
The plot is unfolding. You can make grand plans all you want, but know that they will likely be knocked down to make room for your evolution. Just for the time being, it’s best to let life unfold unbridled, trust the process and live in the moment—observing without judgement, ready and open to the unknown.
Never mind the little things
As you are going through your big stuff, let go of the lesser things. Lighten up your schedule. Say no to new commitments. Bow gracefully out of commitments made BC--before change.
Face emotions head-on
Don’t try to suppress fear, anger, or pain. Since they live in your head, you can’t outrun them. Instead, name, then process, your emotions. There is a great relief and power in the acknowledging where you are without judgement or denial.
You’ll need lots of support: family, friends, therapist, groups, etc. Surround yourself with those you have been where you are now and can offer you a perspective, hope, feedback, encouragement and support. Don’t try to do it alone—no need to struggle longer than necessary.
So, breathe, trust the process of life and let the current take you to your destination.
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