Our first EWP Focus group meeting of the year, and it was a beauty, with Barbara (Barb) Lear taking us on a journey, through her high-achieving, hard-working, life to-date. A life filled with great love, and great loss.
Of course, wonderful stories, are rarely the products of smooth sailing lives. Far from it. Great stories, like great lives, consist of ups and downs, breakdowns and breakthroughs, pace, calm, momentum, and a willingness to venture into the unknown in order to propel them ever onward. Barb’s life- story was no exception, and her courage to live her truth, within the confines acceptable to her, showed great strength of character, in an all too often ignorant and savage world. In addition to that, most of the major changes in her life, were not planned, but she has traversed them well.
But isn’t that the way, so often in life? The big changes are thrust upon us, finding us totally unprepared for the journey ahead. Even those major changes that come about after deep consideration, are difficult to come to terms with. More often than not, they weren’t part of the original plan, so we find ourselves in foreign territory, with no map outlining the way ahead, only an outdated map showing where we have travelled, to arrive at this pivotal point in our lives. The deviation from our chartered course, is very difficult to come to terms with. The great unknown is usually a scary place. Frightening and threatening.
Parting from the familiar, is painful, and it usually requires all our fortitude to navigate a pathway through to a new beginning.
Yes, there are wonderful opportunities for us to learn more about ourselves and the world we inhabit, but not only do they usually come to us later, they also only come to us if we are open to the learnings.
For the most part, I think we go into our individual survival modes, which as we discussed at the meeting, is definitely not one size fits all.
Some of us, push the pain aside and barge on as we always have, with as little reflection, or planning as possible. Those things might, or might not, come later. Others, break down completely, and over time, find themselves, adapting to a new life; while others go through the task of processing everything they know to-date, salvaging anything they think might fit into their future, and eventually stepping out again, with a rough sketch for their new journey.
Sometimes it is the loss of a partner, a career, a house, a friend, a relative, a pet, a home-land, a faith, a limb etc – whatever it is - most of our major life-changes, involve some kind of loss.
And in most cases, loss brings with it, its twin - grief! And no matter how people transcend the past to the now/ future, it is always a smoother, healthier journey, when made with the help and loving support of others. Sometimes friends – old, new, or both; sometimes professional help; but it must also include Self-Love, and Self-Care. We must honour ourselves in this way, in order to adjust both physically, emotionally, and mentally in a healthy manner. We owe ourselves and our loved ones this much.
Every human life is filled with changes, big, small, planned and unplanned. The journey we are on is not static. From our beginning to our end on this planet, it would help us to remember, that no living creature can or should expect to remain the same the whole way through. Death is one certainty for all living beings, and the other is change. Thank goodness!
Whether we like it or not, living requires change to breathe life into our sails. Without it, we are no more than flotsam, adrift and at the mercy of the tides-of-change surrounding us. And even if we refuse to adapt, change will happen anyway. It’s a prerequisite of living.
Better I think, to have a hand in how you want to move forward with whatever change comes into your orbit.
So, accept it, try to relax into that in-between time, that no-woman’s land, be gentle on yourself, and then run with it and learn through the changes that come your way. Not always, but quite often, changes turn out to be blessings in disguise.
And just remember, it’s ok to be Lost in Transition, for however long it takes you, and it’s up to you, to choose the best way you know how to support yourself lovingly through your metamorphosis. You’ll turn into a beautiful butterfly, when the time is right for you.
And by, the by, a little saying that helps me often is, “This Too Will Pass”
Of course, I try not to say that too often when things are gliding along nicely.
And, the other quote I repeat to myself often in times of change, distress or downright despair, is from the Byrds song, Turn. Turn. Turn. “To everything (turn, turn, turn) there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven”.
With that said, it has just turned to Autumn here in the beautiful Southern Highlands, so I’m now off to do some pruning,