How to Re-Create Yourself in a Changing World
Life is full of changes. Change can be scary, particularly when you are on the verge of loosing your home or have lost it already. Jobs are scarce and maybe you have lost your job as well. You have felt safe and comfortable with what you know and fear now that you will not be able to manage or cope with life. Like most Americans you had most of your savings in your home and your job felt secure. Never did you imagine you would suddenly be homeless and out looking for a new job in your 40’s, 50’s 60’s even 70’s. Having to re-create yourself is hard at any age and letting go of who you were will take time.
We all need to feel secure and believe that we live in a manageable environment. A certain amount of predictability is important. Life is feeling very chaotic for many people all across the world right now. These are new times we are living in. It is a new frontier. So what can you do? Maybe you tried joining the demonstrations on Wall Street, refused to move out of your home, sent hate mail to the person who fired you but in the end you will have to face the fact that what once was a secure life has now changed. It has not only changed for you it has changed for millions of people. The “American Dream” seems harder to attain and the middle class is quickly disappearing. This is sobering news that all of us who are experiencing this have to find a way to deal with.
We constantly cross thresholds in our life, where there is no going back. We go through many in a lifetime. It is important to mourn the old life to be able to make room for the new. Every transition begins with an ending. We may still be moving to the rhythm of our old life even when we have moved on to a new one. We tend to still hold on to the old house, past relationship, former job especially when the transition is not particularly a happy one. Holding on to the past is one way to not have to let go completely, even if it was painful for you. We tend to identify ourselves with the job, house, relationship, whatever it may be that you need to let go of.
Think about how you have handled big transitions in your life.
Many things are getting shifted around that you were not prepared for.
Don’t allow yourself to confuse an ending with finality, thinking it’s all over…finished!
It is the first phase of a process of self-renewal, no matter how painful it may be. It is only a temporary state of loss to be endured.
During this time don’t feel guilty about the apparent aimless activity or time out you may need while allowing your inner self to sort things out. Allow yourself to be in the emptiness of not knowing what is next. If you are out of work, look at this time as productive time to be with yourself in ways that are meaningful to you. There can be excitement in seeing a new path ahead of you. Allow yourself to see the opportunity in the interim stage. Take a deep breath in now and imagine yourself watching a sunrise, it’s a new day, a new beginning. Surrender to change to the transitions from one stage of your life to the next.
Here are some ideas that can help and then when new opportunities come along, you will be the first in line to make a change:
Take control of you future instead of letting your pain choose for you. Know what it is that you want to move towards.
Ask yourself if there is anything that you are good at that you have always wanted to do and are there any opportunities for you now to explore that possibility.
Sit quietly, close your eyes, and imagine situations or people that you need to leave behind. Now imagine the future that you want, see it in color, feel the feelings that go with it. Imagine the setting the people etc. Then imagine yourself walking away from the past and into the future.
Allow yourself to write in a journal, make lists or write a story about how you want your future to be. Make the future come alive. Write about how it will feel to be there, as if it has already happened. Imagine all the positive outcomes to your challenging situation. Allow your creativity to flow. Have fun with it, don’t let that negative voice creep in and say “but that isn’t possible,” who cares, do it anyway!
Add pictures, to your writing, that you draw or cut out of magazines. Make a poster you can put on your refrigerator. Read it every morning and every night to remind yourself what your new future looks like.
Make it happen.
Make a specific list of everything you need to do and a schedule for when you’ll do it. Then do it and commit to keep doing it, one day at a time.
Every day accomplish one goal. No matter what you feel, keep the momentum up even if it is just something small.
Choose your new path with courage and purpose.
Ralph Waldo Emerson said “not in his goals but in his transitions, man is great”