Everywhere I look I see massive change happening in my life and in the lives of so many people I know. I don’t mean the small changes that make up the ebb and flow of our daily lives. I mean the big changes like selling a house, being laid off or loosing a loved one. There seems to be a very pervasive energy that is saying, “you must let go.” This change can manifest in positive or negative ways but change is swirling all around us seemingly even more than normal.
My heart goes out to all of you that are experiencing this big wave of change as difficulties in your lives, especially the people who recently lost their homes in the fires in California. I know from the current experiences in my own life that even big positive change can be stressful but it’s nothing compared to the feelings of loss that so many people are facing.
How do we handle big change? My first suggestion is to be as gentle as possible with yourself and the people around you. I know that it can be really hard to manage self-care when your world is changing so rapidly. This is simply a heartfelt reminder to not blame yourself for circumstances that are out of your control. If you notice those blaming thoughts in your head… stop yourself and replace them with things you might say to comfort a small child. Try telling yourself in a soothing voice that it’s all going to be ok even if it feels like it isn’t going to be. Also, allow yourself to feel the real pain of whatever loss you may be experiencing. So that it can begin the process of moving through you.
It’s also important to realize that you are ok in this moment. Everything may not be ok at all but if you can get through from one moment to the next you will be able to make it through whatever big change you may be facing. So try it. Stop the fear of change one moment at a time by taking a few deep breaths. Focus on your breathing just as much as you can by listening to the sound of your own breath as you inhale and exhale. Allow yourself to feel that in this one moment you are ok. Then expand that feeling into the next moment and the next for as long as it takes until you really do feel that you’re going to be ok.
Be especially sure that you are not hanging on to dirty pain. Let me give you an example of what I mean by “dirty” pain. We feel the “clean” pain of loss when we lose a loved one to a heart attack. The “dirty” pain would come in if you blame yourself for not doing more to encourage your deceased friend to seek medical help for their heart condition. In this scenario, you’re facing the loss of so much already and getting caught in the blame game keeps you from being able to work through the very real “clean” pain of loosing your loved one. It’s also probably not true that your actions could have helped them avoid a heart attack so you would be causing yourself even greater pain because of a thought that wasn’t true.
One of the only things we can count on in life is that it will always be filled with change. Just as the only thing in life we can truly exact control over is our own reactions to the circumstances of our lives. Letting go of things can be very hard. But in order to make changes and move forward in our lives, we always have to let go of something. Change is inevitable. So try to embrace the fluidity of life by realizing that you are only defined by who you are, not by who you know, what job you have or what house you own.
Expressing gratitude for what we do have in our lives is also very important. It helps you to see that even though you may be going through difficult changes, there are still good things in your life. I find that being in nature often brings me back into a more balanced state of being. For this I am always grateful. The sheer joy to be found in a gentle breeze blowing through the leaves on the trees is magical. Being grateful for the small things leads you to gratitude for the bigger things like your loved ones, your pets and the general abundance you have in your life.
So let go. Be kind to yourself as well as others and be grateful for the changes in your life. Even if the change is a difficult one it will ultimately bring something positive into your life.