From the Samaritan Counseling center
August. A time of transitions, bringing to mind (whether we like it or not) the impermanent and ever-changing nature of our lives. This may be a good time to take a look at what in our life is in transition now.
There are the developmental transitions that are expected, but not necessarily welcomed: growth of a child into a more independent person, a child graduating and moving out, menopause, retirement, the changing of the season to one of shorter daylight and for some of us, feelings of depression. There are those transitions that we may work toward ourselves and therefore feel more welcoming of, such as a job promotion or a move to a different residence.
There are the transitions that are foisted upon us without our consent that change the courses of our lives: a spouse’s stroke, a car accident causing brain injury that renders us unable to pursue our life’s work, the ripping away of a career by chronic illness, the loss of a young family member.
Any transition, whether expected or not, may bring with it a myriad of emotions such as anger, irritability, disbelief, shock, sadness, relief. When we are unaccustomed or unable to express these feelings, the emotions find other ways to express themselves, such as through body pain and physical discomfort.
Someone to talk to can alleviate the need for these alternate modes of expression. The key to growing and healing through transition for many, though, is pulling out the meaning of the experience, learning what it can teach us. Through transition we learn what of our personal qualities stay the same despite adversity, and what must change. Whether we wanted to or not, we can learn to engage life in a different and deeper way. This is the realm of the healer, to walk beside us and guide us to the meaning that will come from this experience.
A colleague once gave the example when you are bicycling up a very long hill, such as in our mountains, you look forward to how very far you have left to go to the top, and it may not seem like you have gotten anywhere at all. Only when you reach the top and look back can you see how far you have come.
When we are in the midst of a life transition, it can be very difficult to see how far we’ve come or the progress we’ve made. It is only when we get well past the experience that we can look back and see our true progress. Know that it is ok to feel overwhelmed in the midst of transition; know that you will and are getting through this time. Know that it is ok to ask someone for an ear to listen or for assistance. Know that this is life, and that you are living it.
Dr. Georganne Bley is a healer and teacher working as a clinical neuropsychologist, helping people gain needed information when facing injury and other assaults to the brain.
If you want support for a transition through a life change or other help, please call the counselor at your congregation or call us at CENTUS Counseling Consulting & Education at (720) 432-5034. You may also visit our website www.CENTUS.org.