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May 01, 2018
Transitioning from one season to another, can be a daunting task.
Whether the new place ahead is exciting or scary, sometimes change is just plain hard.
That's how it's been for us, as we decided to leave behind our coffee house/arts venue business and move forward to finally admitting to being the artists we really are, and finding a new way of life. We've discovered how difficult it is to create the momentum needed to propel ourselves into our future, because of all the unresolved issues holding us back.
Life transitions take many forms: for some, it's transition from singleness to marriage, for others, it's from couple to family with baby.
We may be in some stage of empty-nesting, retirement, moving into new homes or new jobs. For us, we are leaving the comfort of the community space we lived and moved in for almost 4 years, into an unknown place.
Loss of a loved one, transitioning from life with a dear friend or family member to adjusting to the hole that's left without them, and the strange new feeling of emptiness, is the hardest transition of all.
This transitionary place is a tough one to navigate, especially when we find ourselves in more than one of the above situations at the same time. Here's what we've learned so far (in no particular order):
#1 Grieve the loss.
This takes as much time as it takes, no matter what anyone tells you. It has helped me to give myself time, space and silence. It's also has helped me to slow down to think, allowing myself space to grieve and process what has happened. Even the transition to something wonderful like a new marriage is leaving behind your familiar single self, so take time to notice what it feels like to say goodbye.
#2 Be easy on yourself
During transitions, our weaknesses and irritations show, because we've never been in this place before and we feel awkward. Our routines can be upended. Don't expect yourself to perform at optimum levels, you may feel wobbly and tentative, and that's okay.
#3 Find resolution by taking care of business
This is something we didn't do too well. Being artists and not real fond of numbers and businessy-type stuff, we didn't know how to officially end the business with certain government entities, which caused a lot of problems. We reminded ourselves of #2 and learned that resolving such issues is a huge part of transition; not only is it necessary, but it's the best way to set yourself up for the next season, because loose ends can finally be tied up. The more you make yourself do the necessary tasks to resolve what you're leaving behind, the easier to move on. If necessary, get help.
#4 Let go
It may seem obvious, but letting go is the hardest thing about transition. We tend to avoid change and discomfort, but it's going to be more painful the more we hold on to the past and don't accept the change that is inevitable. In living without your loved one, in having to learn a brand new skill, or in adjusting to new surroundings, letting go can also be freeing as you accept your new reality.
"Prayer is responding to God, by thought and by deeds, with or without words." The Book of Common Prayer
When I read that for the first time recently, I felt consoled and encouraged, that this is what praying without ceasing means. I don't have to be in a certain position, I don't have to use words if I am unable to at the time, my heart and mind just need to be responsive to God.
So in this time of Transition and Change, the most important activity I need to be involved in is prayer.
How else am I going to know how to move on or where to go, unless I am responding to my Good Shepherd? He will lead me and guide me and help this difficult journey go much more smoothly.
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