“When I had journeyed half of our life’s way, I found myself within a shadowed forest,
for I had lost the path that does not stray.”
– Dante Alighieri –The Inferno, Canto I
Transitions happen – some good, some bad.
Significant life changes can feel like being lost in the woods, whether you are youngish, oldish, or in-between-ish when they occur.
Life finally reached a point where you had become used to how things were and could handle things reasonably well. Then suddenly, things became different, causing you to feel destabilized. Those changes can make you wonder, “Who am I?”
It would help to talk with someone who can help you recognize your strengths and respond to your new situation by gaining new powers and abilities. Finding this someone might be what you need to overcome those changes. You can do this! No matter what age you are when the changes occur, you are alive and can grow, learn, and change.
I will support you and help you find the new responses and parts of you that can navigate these changes and even thrive with them. Let’s look at some significant transitions we might face in life.
Family and relationships can change.
Kids move out when they grow up, marriages and life-partnerships end, new marriages and life partnerships begin, and families get bigger when there are new step-kids, births, or adoptions. A spouse becomes sober after years of being under the influence.
These changes and so many others can leave a family member feeling like s/he is in a tailspin, trying to make things like they were and not feeling successful at the effort.
I can help you adjust to these changes and clarify your new self in response to them. You can do this!
Job changes are challenging.
Getting fired or promoted, starting retirement, stepping down, or changing careers – even when these changes are intentional – can be very stressful and make you feel like you are walking on unstable ground.
When those job changes are unintentional, they can create added feelings of embarrassment, shame, and exposure. Those feelings might make you say, “I didn’t choose this, and I don’t want it!” Such changes are all new territory that requires a unique internal map.
You have it in you, even if you are not aware of that fact now. Intentional changes such as retirement can feel very disorienting when the initial delight wears off and the identity of the working professional ceases to exist. Then, you are left wondering, “Now, who am I? What is my purpose, and what am I supposed to do with the rest of my life, die here?”
No, you are to live in this new terrain. I will help you locate your internal navigation system to regain your sense of yourself and make the decisions you want to make as you learn to thrive in this new territory.
Coping with getting older is not always easy.
Aging means turning 18 and turning 88 and everything in between. Of course, we are always getting older, but some numbers seem more significant than others.
Sometimes, there are thoughts of quiet desperation like, “I’m turning ____ years old this year and am supposed to know what I’m doing now, but I don’t know anything, and I’m terrified. What is going to happen to me?”
Or you might think, “I’m turning _____ now; I should have accomplished things that I haven’t. I feel so ashamed because I am behind everyone else. What if I never get what I want from life?”
It’s time to regroup and renew your perspective so that you can fully perceive all that is available to you in this new life. Accepting and integrating your past will free you to be completely present in your life now, giving you wisdom and perspective to love life as it is.
Loss is hard to overcome.
Losing a loved one who has died, mourning the loss of a beloved pet, moving to a new place and missing the old one, or losing a group of friends or colleagues represent major transitions that can make us grieve the loss. A change in a marriage or relationship can make it seem completely different from how it was.
There are all different kinds of loss that we experience as we go through life. Loss and grief are as unique as every individual, yet there are shared similarities in all these experiences. There is some measure of pain, and often, it is difficult to accept and feel that pain. Yet, it won’t go away or leave you alone, so people feel stuck in it or uncomfortable between feeling and not feeling.
Loss can make us feel like life will never be ok again, will never feel right again, and there’s no way to bring back what was before that loss. But there is a way forward. That’s what we will do with this situation – move forward while honoring the importance of what was lost.
If a giant brick wall is blocking the way, we will dismantle it. If the grief and pain feel unsurmountable, we will find a way through them. You will always have the memories that you want to keep. And you can move forward and continue to experience the adventure of life even with all the changes.
Don’t go it alone.
I get it! Transitions in life present challenges, but we can overcome those challenges and move forward.
Coping with transitions requires addressing your anxiety and uncertainty while learning to overcome those doubts, fears, and second-guessing. Making that transition is where I can help.
I want to take this transitional journey with you as we explore new ways of thinking and living. Life is too short to let changes keep you from enjoying your time.
Let’s talk – my goal is to help you overcome feeling stuck in wishfully living in the past so that you can live fully in the present, aware of all that is available to you now.