If you’ve lived long enough, you’ve had to endure endings of some major eras in your life. These endings may have occurred when you graduated from high school or college, changed jobs or careers, severed a relationship or relocated to a different place.
Whatever the circumstances were, you had to bid adieu to an old and familiar way of being. You may have felt sentimental as you said your goodbyes while also feeling anxious about what could be in store for you in your upcoming destination.
Many of us find it difficult to move on because of an inability to let go of the ways things were. We attempt to cling on to old habits, patterns and relationships, not realizing that it is draining our energy and blocking us from receiving the blessings that await us in the future.
Having confronted this challenge several times in the past, I know that crossing the bridge of life transitions is not an easy feat. The finality of endings used to disturb me because the thought that I would never experience the same situation or be around the same people again felt like a “mini-death”.
It was not until I enrolled in a World Religion course at university that I began shifting my perspective on this. In the course, I learned about a Buddhist concept called the “Wheel of Life”, which is a visual depiction of the Buddhists’ view of our existence as a cycle of life, death, re-birth and “suffering”. To them, this recurring cycle is the very essence of life.
This philosophy opened my eyes to one of the biggest realities of life: change is an inevitable part of our existence. If we want to prosper and experience authentic joy, we have to be able to adapt to the constant state of flux that turns the wheel of life.
Resisting change will only hurt us and interrupt the flow of abundance into our personal space. We have to be open to allowing new energies and influences to create shifts in our life so that we can continue to evolve and grow.
It’s also important that we hold onto the gems of the past, such as any fond memories and important life lessons. In fact, taking a trip down memory lane can be fun and nourishing for the soul as it can elicit pleasant and joyful feelings.
All of this necessitates the need for coping mechanisms that will enable us to make a smooth transition from the past into the new era that is knocking at our door. Here is a big-picture framework of the actions that you can take to successfully move through the passage of change:
1. Leave the pain of the past: Whether you are leaving a job, city or a relationship, ensure that upon your departure, you leave with a sense of love and gratitude. Let go of any grudges, bitterness and pain and reframe your experience as a time of learning. Remember that whatever you’re leaving behind is no longer going to be present in your physical reality and you can only relive within the internal world of your memories. Letting go of any toxicity and painful debris from the past will lighten your emotional baggage and allow you to travel light in the following chapters of your life.
2. Hold on to the wisdom: Every single experience that we have happens for a reason and is all part of the Universe’s plan for our personal evolution. It behooves us to be attuned to the deeper meaning and lessons from all our experiences, both good and bad, and not let it go to waste. I recommend writing in a journal or talking to someone you trust about this issue. Some of the questions that you can ask yourself are – what did I learn by going through this phase in my life? How did it change me as a person? Which accomplishments am I proud of? What are some things that I can change or do better next time?
3. Re-connect with your vision and set some new goals: After you have turned the page over, you can direct your attention to filling out the pages of the new chapter in your life. The best source of guidance is your internal compass because it takes your purpose, values and vision for your future into consideration. Based on this self-knowledge, write down some goals that you would like to achieve in this new phase. Get excited because this is a brand new opportunity to start over – and this time you are armed with wisdom from your past experiences!
4. Explore your new surroundings or circumstances: Stepping into any new terrain does require you to do your due diligence of getting to know who and what you are dealing with. Conduct your own personal orientation before jumping in and forging associations, and committing to tasks. At this point, you want to take on the role of an explorer and navigate your way through this unfamiliar ground. Whether you are starting a new relationship or career, take the time to ask the right questions to ensure that you easily acclimate to your surroundings, and find ways to manifest your goals within it.
If you are at a place in your life where you are trying to overcome feelings of sadness and you’re struggling to adjust to your present reality, please be kind to yourself during this process. Know that what you are going through is not meant to be easy and will test your strength of character.
Loosen your grip on the past and know that something exciting is awaiting you if you open yourself up to it. Like a snake that sheds its old skin or a bird molts its frayed feathers, you too can shed the old layers of pain in preparation for a new layer of growth and prosperity to grow in the near future.
All my best on your journey,
Question for you: Have you ever found it challenging to turn the page over in your life circumstances? What has made it difficult for you to move on from those circumstances? What’s the biggest lesson that you have learned when it comes to how to move on and start a new chapter in your life?
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Looking for more guidance? Check out my brand new program The Change Compass: How to Navigate Some of Life’s Toughest Transitions and Crossroads.