The C Word: How to Make Friends with Change. (that dirty B).
Ugh. That word though, right?
I just watched a painful live video by my cousin’s daughter and I will refer to her here as my niece because that is what she FEELS like to me.
We recently had a family loss when my cousin died unexpectedly. He was young, I mean like a year or two older than me.
It was shocking, devastating and so hard.
I hadn’t been close to my cousin since we were kids because we lived across the country from one another, but I was shocked to the core to learn of his passing and so deeply concerned for his immediate family.
It sent ripples of pain. It was a reminder of my own loss not so long ago and occurred really close to the anniversary of my mom’s death on May 31st.
That day is a shitty reminder of those events around what happened and our very last day with my mom.
It surprises me every year how truly awful that day feels. Even in the beauty of being with her in the very end, it is a stab directly to the soul when I think of losing her.
With that loss in mind I turned to the loss of my cousin with that reference in mind and it rocked me a little bit (okay, maybe tsunami style).
I needed a little hiatus from my live chats and Laughing Lotus as I muddled through this emotional time. Again, surprised by how this major change in my life (and my cousin’s immediate family) has affected so many things.
Now, I could go on about the good aspects of change and that would be very POSITIVE of me, but I am nothing if not honest.
Change can suck the big one.
However, the other side of the fence with change is that it is the ONLY thing we can count on right?
I have discussed this with clients…
How DO we do change? How can we make friends with this very eventuality?
1) Be AWARE of it. Note the change and honor the feelings that come with it.
2) Be THOUGHTFUL. Pay close attention to your thoughts ABOUT the change as this will have everything to do with how challenging or successful it can be.
3) Use SUPPORT. Yup. Connect. Sometimes you won’t want to, but that is just that dirty bitch whispering in your ear that you need to do it alone. That is a LIE.
Reach out to your network of loved ones and ask for (gasp) HELP. Communicate what your needs are so people CAN support and love you.
4) Take TIME. Take good care of yourself. Slow down. Take time for walks, meditation, prayer, play, reading, time with friends/family, massage, getting out in nature, manicures/pedicures, laughter, Maybe take a nap. Journal and get it touch with WHERE you are emotionally, mentally and spiritually.
I was recently in Grand Marais, up on the North Shore in MN and I love it. It is a soul-home for me. I am so grounded in that place. I placed some of my mom’s ashes in the lake right in one of my favorite places to sit.
I needed to go and be there on my recent trip and we were with friends camping. My husband rode into town with me and he looked for an anniversary card for me while I made the trek to that spot to honor her.
I cried the whole way there. I was shocked by my reaction. As I navigated out to the point and the place I love to visit I talked toher and cried. There was no one out on the point and I was so grateful for that journey alone in my heart so I could just be WITH her.
My husband came and found me after finding his anniversary card and just sat in back of me with his arms around me. It was a perfect reflection of his love and support. It was our anniversary the next day and I couldn’t imagine going through this major change in my life without him. He has been my rock in a million ways.
As I looked out at the beautiful blue water, wrapped in my husband’s arms, I reflected on how challenging this change has been for me and continues to be.
I think I believed that grief and change would come and GO. Right?
That shit is a lie and I don’t lie.
Some change is forever and takes constant moderation on our part to manage it.
So, I took a bit of a hiatus because my heart needed it. And it was SO GOOD for me.
So the last tip I have is this:
5) LISTEN. Listen to your SOUL. When you are going through major life changes and shifts your needs will also change. If you need to be busy, be busy. If you need to be quiet and reflective, be quiet and reflective. Your soul is NEVER wrong.
Do yourself a favor and contemplate:
Books you’ve read, movies you’ve seen, people you know who’ve experienced change…HOW did they do it? What steps did they take?
We can either go kicking and screaming or quietly my friends. Sometimes it requires both to survive it.
And THAT is okay too.
Go forth into change and make friends with it. Accept it. Acknowledge it. Go THROUGH it. Have compassion for yourself and others who are experiencing big changes. Treat your change like a friend and you will come out the other side with less bumps and bruises.
A tender heart? Most assuredly, but that was going to happen anyway.
Nature always teaches us lessons, doesn’t it?
Change is CONSTANT. The water erodes the rocks, it creates the landscape. Fire destroys so that new growth can emerge. Things live and they die so that life can re-emerge every time.
No need to look further than nature.
Take a listen to “Thunder” by Imagine Dragons ( I am OBSESSED with this song right now).
It is a song about not giving up and living BIG.
My niece said to live every moment in her live post. It struck me then. Thunder is about LIVING, not giving up, being WHO we are and that is a BIG thing.
Inspiration is all around. So, thank you to Kylie for her honesty, vulnerability, my own story/change and aching heart for direction. For Imagine Dragons who ROCKS my damn world.
Live BIG and LOUD as Thunder friends and make friends with change. It is going to happen anyway.