don’t be alarmed if it arrives with change in its pocket.
Coping with life changes can be serious business, especially when those transitions involve profound loss of any kind. But what if we decided to make “light” of change? Not to trivialize its impact on us or deny it, but to fully engage it in all its many permutations.
Change is the most difficult thing human beings do. It means creating new ways of thinking and behaving. And that’s a physical process, as well as a mental and emotional one.
Even when it’s a change we want, altering our habitual patterns is like trying to move the course of a river. In a way, that’s exactly what we’re doing—changing the channel of what we’ve done before.
Change is also frightening because it disrupts our concept of who we are, what we do, how we fit into the mix of our relationships. In other words: We are no longer the person we used to be, but we are not yet the person we will become. Most of us want to get through that ambiguity as fast as possible. But there is another way. Learning to explore change as opportunity can reap tremendous benefits in all aspects of life.
I’ve had this saying on my wall for years. But only recently have I honestly come to appreciate its full meaning. As I have gone through my own profound life transitions, it has become apparent to me that what matters most is not so much how we cope with change, but who we become in the process of living within it. I say “living within it” because, for me, really inhabiting the shifts in life makes all the difference in what comes of them.
Rather than gritting our teeth to merely survive the upheavals that change brings, let us consider the possibility of allowing those rough waters to wash through us, not just over us. This is the lesson I learned during the years of my husband, Stephen’s, illness and death. And, again, as I wrote my two books about those experiences A Beautiful Death: Keeping the Promise of Love (2010, revised in 2015) and A Beautiful Grief: Reflections on Letting Go.
Mining the riches of change is a journey unlike any other because of how deeply it challenges us to question our thoughts and feelings about how we engage life’s transitions.
It invites us to take our time, stopping along the way to relish the questions that arise at least as much as the answers that eventually emerge.
As I have learned through my work as a Life Transitions Leader, the key to making LIGHT of change is being present in the moment, not rushing ahead to put the past behind us because it was painful.
We use the discomfort as information to move forward, and then the answers come.
Webinars, speeches and keynotes about The LIGHT Process
More articles on Cheryl’s PsychologyToday blog: Living on the Razor’s Edge
The LIGHT Process – The Book. Select this page to order the book and get going with the Five LIGHT Questions in the “Start Here Guide.”
Unleashing the Joy of Self-Transcendence
Copyright © 2017 Cheryl J. Eckl and CherylEckl.com. All rights reserved.