Getting through it.
This is for all of you that are going through big life transitions. I recognize so many of the feelings you are experiencing. I want to help. This is what I have learned from my own transitions. I wish I had had this advice. Maybe reading this will help even those of you that aren’t going through a major trauma 😀
When life as you know it ceases to exist, your brain is disrupted. This can be a wonderful thing. Old patterns are broken. New parts of yourself surface. You have an opportunity to reevaluate what makes you happy and construct a new life built around those things. When a life is built on what makes a person happy, then guess what? They become extremely satisfied! When someone is extremely satisfied, their life flows with ease.
What? You don’t feel like this change is a good thing? Of course you don’t! Everything your brain knew, all the thought and memory pathways that were effortlessly accessed have been obliterated. The hopes and dreams you imagined for the future are gone. You are in mourning. Everything is hard, confusing, and unfamiliar. No one likes this feeling. However, everything you knew before was just familiar...not necessarily better or best for you...just comfortable. Try to open your mind to the idea that what is coming MAY BE BETTER FOR YOU! I would argue that it will definitely be better! Because you are going to craft your next stage of life to be what you want it to be.
The first step to creating the life you want is to imagine what it is. This is HARD. It requires you to let go of all your previous notions, your imagined limitations, your assumed impossibilities. If you can let your mind open and quiet your noisy ego, you can see what comes to you. Imagine what makes you extremely happy. Without any judgment, imagine what your happy life looks like. Write down what the imagined life looks like. Whatever words or answers come to you are RIGHT! If you can’t see what that life looks like, progress to the next step anyways.
Now, your first job is to find your love for yourself. Be kind to yourself. Remember that you have been through a major trauma and recovering will take time. Allow yourself a grace period with no judgment. Know that this transition takes TIME.
Step two is to find ways to rediscover why you are great, special, worthy. Experiment with finding what lights you up. This, like everything else, involves failure! You can’t find what lights you up unless you find some things that don’t! Don’t be afraid to fail! This is your first challenge. Every time you find a moment that lights you up, pause. Soak up that moment with every fiber of your being. Let yourself FEEL the enjoyment. This little blip of happiness will sustain you until you find the next and the next and the next and you begin to string them together. Remember, you only need moments. This doesn’t mean that you need a whole perfect evening, perfect friend, perfect relationship. Just a moment, then another, then another. Also, keep in mind that you may have evolved beyond your own self-image. Open your mind to the idea that maybe you no longer resemble your own preconceived image of yourself. Embrace new self-views.
Step three. Pat yourself on the back. Give yourself credit for keeping on, for getting back up, for every small step towards happiness that you are taking. Recognize small victories. View your own bravery. Applaud that you allowed your mind to be open to possibility.
Step four. Take time to meditate so that your mind gets a break from the cycles and loops it can get stuck in. Remember to breathe. Make time for some quiet alone time.
Step five. Find some sort of stress release. Your body cannot exist in a constant state of fight or flight adrenaline. Exercise, throw a private tantrum, dig a hole, stack some wood. Any way that your body can release the pent-up stress so it can return to a place of peace and stasis.
Step six. Seek out time with a good friend or friends. Laughter is the best medicine. Don’t worry about bringing them down. They want to be there for you and someday you can return the favor. Don’t forget to be kind to yourself. No judging! Allow yourself to soak up this love from your family and friends. Let it replenish you and sustain you. Enjoy what each person brings to your life and what pieces of their friendship make you happy.
Step seven. Focus on the essentials. Your body and mind are expending a LOT of energy creating and interpreting a new reality. Rest. Lower the bar for now with your expectations of yourself. Allow yourself time to just do nothing. Eat healthy nutritious food. Don’t drink too much alcohol or lean too much on a crutch. Your brain needs to be clear to process everything.
Step eight. Break overwhelming tasks into small pieces. Tackle each one of them and don’t forget to give yourself that pat on the back for handling each item on your list!
Step nine. DO NOT take any relationship that develops during this time period seriously. They can be great for reminding you why you are awesome but you are NOT in a place for entering a relationship at this moment. This time is for finding YOU!
Step ten. Keep taking baby steps to incorporate items from your happiness list into your life. As you find more and more ways to make yourself happy, you will become happier and happier! Your new view of your current existence will begin to come into focus...and pretty soon...your new reality will feel comfortable and easy. This takes time but you WILL get there.
Hope this helps. I’m rooting for you all.