The transitions of the earth’s seasons are filled with dynamic energies – the subtle shiftings, the visible changes, the feeling of anticipation, the curiosity about what will come to be. Here north of the equator, the Equinox on September 22/23 marks the transition into Fall. Similarly, we experience transitions in our lives. When adversity befalls us, we are thrown into an unplanned transition. We are faced with a challenge that can at times seem impossible to overcome. We are whisked off the road we knew, taken away from our familiar world where the directions were clear, and put on a treacherous path that leads to who knows where. Transitions like these are the toughest life has to offer. The good news is that the force of life that spurs us on is resilient beyond imagination! With the support of others and a nurturing and caring approach toward ourselves we can keep our resilience strong as we move along a healing path to a renewed life.
One strategy for navigating transition is to remember that we like to have a certain level of structure, predictability and consistency in our daily lives, and we come to depend on that. It allows us to create order and routines and to function well within them. Although a radical change shatters all that disrupting routines, roles, relationships and assumptions, we want to restore stability and structure and have things begin to make sense again. We want to get through the transition and be comfortable in our lives again.
Models of transition can provide a general frame of reference. They are not personalized maps that show you your route because you are unique, so is your transition and you will chart your own course, seeking, learning from and using knowledge that you find helpful. Healing always requires us to look inward and seek direction from within. Rather than an ordered, linear step progression, transition and healing are more of a gradual falling away of the old and assimilation of the new. This happens in a continuous back and forth motion like the movement of the tides coming in and going out, in a natural, organic ebb and flow.
There is no prescribed time schedule for transition. Ultimately you do it in your own way and in your own time. If you feel stuck at a certain point and this is adding more distress to your life, then it is wise to get help with that. As you learn to live with your pain, your movement forward becomes stronger and stronger. You may have stalls and setbacks along the way but the option to start up again and carry on never expires. It is only one decision away. Have patience with your process… and yourself!