We all experience many changes during our lives. We seek education without knowing where it will lead. We marry, divorce, move homes, become a parent, switch careers, get sick, win the lottery, grieve over the loss of a parent, child or other loved one. According to Statistics Canada, the conjugal lives of seniors are changing as the proportion of those who were divorced or separated rose from 4% to 12% from 1981 to 2011. How do we successfully negotiate the uncertainties of life?
Instead of dwelling on hopes and fears about an unknowable future, focus your attention on whatever is happening now. Care for yourself. Stay home or go out. Attend an exercise class or group adventure. Do whatever feels comforting to you right now.
Talk to Others
When we go through major changes, we think we are dealing with something no one else can understand or no one else is going through. However, others can empathize with you. You are not alone. You are also never alone because you always have yourself to rely on. So the idea of being alone is false. It is up to you to tell people what to say and what to do that will be helpful. Ask very specifically for what you need and for even, sometimes, what you need to hear. Left on their own to guess what support you need makes people feel helpless. When they feel helpless, they do not act. So empower others and empower yourself by letting them know specifically how they can help. Talking as therapy is well recognized in the health professions.
Let it out
Having feelings of sadness is natural, to grieve over the loss of something, to feel angry about your situation, or to place blame. You have permission to feel that way, but only for a brief period. If you spend too much time in that place of anger or pity or blame, you end up not being able to adapt to your change. It keeps you in a place of helplessness. What you need is to be in a place of hope and of growth.
Our ability to adapt is amazing. The adaptability and flexibility of our spirit and of our being is a given. Those who cannot change and adapt have convinced themselves it is not possible. If you trust that you can adapt, then you will. If you believe that you can change, then you will, no matter what the challenge.
Hope for a brighter future
Having hope and having a positive perspective will keep you moving forward every day. If you give up hope it will be like letting go of a rope that pulls you forward. Believing that things can and will be different, and that you will see the light at the end of the tunnel is the most important thing in getting through a change process. Knowing that there is an end in sight, knowing there are possibilities, and having hope that things are going to be better. Further interesting reading about ‘hope’ and its origins can be found here.
Going through a change, especially one that is traumatic, changes you forever. It changes how you see life and deal with things. You are never going to be the same again and that is a good thing. Because in the midst of change is a great deal of learning, if you are willing to have vision and perspective. If you are willing to continually ask yourself the question, “What am I supposed to be learning from this?” “How am I supposed to grow?” “How will I become a better person because of this?” In any change, you can become stronger, with a better version of you. Just because something changes, even something radical, it does not change the core of whom you are as a person. You will have the same mission, the same purpose, and the same values. So having something different about you does not make you a different human being. If you are strong and centered and grounded, that is still who you are. Sometimes you have to remind yourself of that.
Let us help!
Many of life’s changes bring turmoil. You need to move but cannot fit everything you have in a new place. You are merging households but have duplicates of furniture. You must clean out a loved ones’ living quarters but do not want to sort and separate and discard right now. At Downtown U-Lok Storage Ltd. we have more than 50 different sizes of storage lockers. You can rent for a month or as long as it takes to get through life’s changes. Just give us a week’s notice and you can end your locker rental anytime. It is that easy. There is no reason that the physical, material, aspect of your evolution should get in your way. We are part of the solution!