Friday, November 21, 2008

Embracing Transition

As long as we live we will always have transitions. In fact, I believe our transitional adjustments in life are largely responsible for our growth and learning. Whether transitions are planned or spontaneous or even out of our control, they will always be part of the human experience.

Some common transitions include aging, changing jobs, moving to a new community, children growing up, becoming a grandparent, going to school, developing new relationships and changes in health, to name a few. When seen in a positive light any of the countless transitions that occur in our lives can call us forth to expand beyond what we thought was possible. They will inevitably cause us to learn more, experience more and create new possibilities from which more transitions can take place.

So if transitions do indeed contribute to our expansion as humans, then why do so many of us resist them? We may dread our children leaving home since our lives had revolved around their activities. We may fear retirement since our identity is totally tied up and connected to our work. Moving to a new place can create fears of fitting in and making new friends. We may believe we can never have relationships like those we had before a transition. Some may fear that happiness will not be part of the transition equation as if there is only so much joy allotted per person and you had your quota.

Granted....transitions are a risk. Taking a step from the known to the unknown holds many questions. Not knowing all the answers ahead of time can frighten us. Those of us that avoid transitions whenever possible may find the routine and familiar goings on of life to be safe and comfortable.

So how can we experience transitional points in life without any major emotional backlash? My response is to be aware of what the fears or concerns may be and to identify the feelings that are present. To look at all that is present up close and personal rather than resist and run away. In fact, I believe it is the sheer act of willingness to look at whatever is the issue that frees us from whatever we resist.

We are evolving whether we want to or not. Allowing, and in fact willingly stepping into transitional experiences, creates an evolution of our lives beyond what we saw as possible.

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