While folding and storing some sweatshirts I reflected that just a couple of weeks ago, I wore the garments. Today, it’s all about short-sleeve tees and trying to remain cool. Chilliness was no longer the default; now it’s hot and stuffy. The seasonal cycle continues regardless of my personal preferences. The Earth circles the Sun pretty much as it has for 4.55-billion orbits–give or take 50-million. It seems likely that this process will continue far into the future.
Humans and other animals don’t always accept transitions well. We witness social shifts or other major changes and most of us freak out or feel uneasy. It’s easy to become complacent and take the status quo for granted. We commonly escape into nostalgia or fantasize about the future to escape the reality of the present. This is normal, but it is best to enjoy these illusions prudently and mindfully. The fact is, that we go through endings of life phases and beginnings of other phases as we continue living. It is what it is.
Global transitions occur each and every day. The Earth rotates on its axis once every 24 hours. As a result dawn, midday, dusk, and night happen continuously around the globe. There’s nothing you or I can do to halt this motion. We simply experience each day and night as a matter of course. The transitions happen all the time.
We can pause and reflect about the comings and goings of daytime and nighttime or the comings and goings of youth, middle age, and senior age and remember that major aspects of our lives come and go, with the possibility of revealing essential and valuable lessons. As the old pithy saying goes, “You must close one door to open another.” We are wise to put the past behind us; part ways with worn out things and behavior; be ready to accept present possibilities and reality.
Sometimes it’s hard to let go of the past “good times” and move forward. However, when we do, we are able to understand the wisdom of letting go so as to allow for renewal and transformation. If we resist, we go kicking and screaming into the future with emotional pain and suffering. However, when we exercise acceptance and our imagination to visualize possibilities, we let constructive thoughts and actions to emerge.
Life changes occur to everybody, regardless of where we live, whatever culture we were indoctrinated into, how much money we do or do not have. Transitions may be subtle or manifest as sweeping change. Change signals the desirability towards adaptation and evolution of conceptual thinking. We can take further steps to let go of our unhealthy attachments to outmoded beliefs and worn out material things. Transition often means it is time to release excess baggage. Along with old belongings, we can let go of resentments and feelings of entitlement.
One might be reluctant to let go or understand exactly how to create the changes we need. We still have stubborn, harmful points of view from our pasts that block new opportunities and better understanding of life. This refusal results in stagnation and feeling like being caught in limbo. One believes it’s easier to resist change rather than open up to new ways of thinking.
Each day offers opportunities to accept transition rather than deny it. Certainly, there will be some backsliding, but we need not keep ourselves from continuing on our way. As we embrace the present and surrender to past, the future is open to suggestion. As we allow for the natural process of continual transition, we let new doors open to new experiences we might have never expected before now.
Meantime, on a more profound level, one may be in the middle of a massive personal transformation–illness, death of a loved one, etcetera. We experience these changes, often in private, out of view of other people. We begin to understand that recovery from loss happens at different rates for different people. We allow mental space for healing and for new outlooks to emerge. We learn to be patient with ourselves and allow personal transformation to occur at a healthy pace with gentle encouragement forward.
Many people resist transitions and never allow themselves to enjoy being who they are and who they can become. Embracing change, regardless of what happens outside of our sphere of influence brings about understanding new realities and our places in them. Transitions can be strenuous and difficult, but they are opportunities to let go, reevaluate priorities, and exercise intent about new habits and thought patterns. Soon enough, we invent our new normal.
The Blue Jay of Happiness quotes advocate, motivational speaker, and writer, Suleika Jaouad. “We have birthdays and bar mitzvahs and funerals and weddings. And these ceremonies and rituals, I believe, really help us transition from one point to another.”