My Mom’s generation used to call menopause “the change.” Painful emotional and physical changes that most women experience in order to move to the last chapter of their life. Of course, change doesn’t just happen once a lifetime. People and things must constantly evolve in order to produce and grow.
I once reconnected with a co-worker online over a social media post. The comments turned opinionated as they always seem to do. She private messaged me with the scathing message, ” Samantha, you’ve CHANGED!”
Well, yes. I’m supposed to. When she knew me I was in a completely different phase of my life. I call it my drone phase. I was on autopilot. I didn’t even know who I was outside of being a mom and wife, a role I started when I was barely a child myself.
If we refuse to change, we remain stagnant.
Nature shows us every season how important change is. Each season’s loss is in preparation for the next step of life.
The Bradford pear trees we have are in my area have beautiful white blossoms that last a measly few days. But before you get a brief glimpse of the fluffy white flowers you have to endure the piles of messy seeds. Then the blossoms fall off to make way for the lush green leaves, leaving more messy seed twigs. In the fall the leaves are relentless leaving black stains on my patio. The fall leaves are beautifully patterned to reflect the various fall touches of frost intermingled with the warm days the leaves endure before succumbing to winter.
Just as we can’t make the leaves stay on the tree, we can’t hold on to a season of our lives that’s ending. Everything has an expiration date. Some relationships not only morph into a completely different version of what they once were, but they can end without closure. Even with “closure”- a word which I’m not fond of- we still have thoughts and feelings of loss as we navigate through habits of calling or being with them.
The key to moving through these experiences is to process each emotion as it arises. My favorite (& only) spiritual guru states:
“The day you can look pain directly in the face and say “thank you for changing me for the better” is the moment you stop fearing anything or anyone. Your healing journey doesn’t take effort. It takes bravery.”Matt Kahn
He also has a mediation of “whatever arises, love that”.
The important thing to remember when we get hit with a wave of emotion which causes the fight or flight phenomenon as I described in a previous post here., is to not stay in that place. Feel it, accept it, love the one who is experiencing it- no shame – no blame. Then let it go…
Anytime you feel uncomfortable feelings, use the 5,4,3,2,1 method. And breathe. look up at the blue sky find some beautiful clouds ora plant in your house or office. Find a bird flying, listen for any sound of nature. Smell the air. SEND LOVE & comfort to yourself. Everything you WANT to feel from the loss- give to yourself.
The 5 things coping skills
The Persian Poet Rumi from the thirteenth century wrote this poem:
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.-Rumi