Dealing with change, making the transition more effectively

Change doesn’t hurt us. The emotional journey to making that change can be hurtful though, if not cathartic.

Unexpected or unwanted change (for example, we lose something or someone precious) can feel like the world has collapsed in on us. We find it difficult just to acknowledge what has come to an end. (Image by: zirconicusso)

“It was hell. I couldn’t get my ex-girlfriend out of my head. There were times I would panic. I wondered how I would get through the next 30 seconds of my life and keep myself together. I loved her so much and she was gone. Every few minutes her memory would pop into my head. And the panic and heartache would start all over again. This went on for months.”

When we can’t acknowledge an ending, it means that we are not fully in a position to learn – from it or what went prior to the ending.

“’I acknowledge’ means I accept, as best I can, what has happened and ready myself to learn.”

Acknowledgement doesn’t mean we’ve gotten over what happened, far from it. The early period of what happens to us next can still be tough, very tough.

In time, we allow ourselves to start to look objectively at the facts. We try as best we can to detach ourselves from the emotions that hold us back and construct a way forward for us to move on. Sometimes we race too early to start a new beginning. But starting something new, “on the rebound” doesn’t often work.

It’s important that we grieve and not deny our feelings. And likewise it’s equally important that we busy ourselves whilst we grieve – for “wallowing in the mud does not make us clean”, as the saying goes.

“When we deny our emotions we cannot be selective. We cannot numb ourselves from hurt and suffering without numbing ourselves from joy and happiness at the same time.”

As time passes, we sometimes ‘think’ we have got over what happened. We haven’t.

As time passes, we can ‘believe’ we have got over what happened. We haven’t.

As time passes, we will ‘feel’ we have got over what happened. We haven’t.

It’s not until we ‘know’ we have gotten over that something or someone, are we ready to start a new beginning in our lives.

How do we know when we’ve gotten over someone (or something)? When their memory crops up, we give that memory minimal negative energy. That is, we give it minimal anger, sadness, fear or guilt. It’s not  digital on/off switch. For me, memories of everyone I’ve loved, and have now gone from my life, still have a tinge of sadness – but only a tinge. I know I’ve gotten over that relationship.

Shine on…! Paul C Burr

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