Facing Transition?

   Written by on August 25, 2017 at 11:17 am
Cheryl Gowin and Dennis Gowin.  Call us at our counseling practice with your feedback, comments, issues, or questions at 434-808-2637.

Cheryl Gowin and Dennis Gowin.  Call us at our counseling practice with your feedback, comments, issues, or questions at 434-808-2637.

Does this quote from the Longwood’s website describe a recent event in your life?  “And, as family members said their tearful goodbyes and offered their final words of advice, the Longwood freshman class settled into the first day of the next four years of their lives.”  This fall are you the parent who is saying good-bye to a child who, what seems like just yesterday, a kind nurse placed in your arms as a newborn?  Are you struggling with the transition from 24-hour-a-day-parent to empty nester?  Are you struggling with filling the void, feeling left out, giving up control, and just in general dealing with the transition?

We all face transitional periods in our life including our kids going away to college, moving to a new area, changing jobs, or friends moving away.  We choose some transitions and some just happen.  Let’s look at several ideas that can help us deal with the transitions life throws at us.

Maya Angelou’s advice is to be present in all things and thankful for all things.  What does it mean to be present in all things?  Being present means to be aware; simply put, don’t stuff your feelings.  Going through transitions will create a range of feelings.  You miss your daughter while you are relieved your son is no longer tossing his shoes on the living room floor; you enjoy the quiet, while the quiet makes you sad.  You can’t deal with these feelings if you don’t acknowledge them.  Yes, your emotions may move back and forth like a pendulum.  Acknowledge your feelings; take time to think about them.  Find supportive family and friends who can talk with you about your feelings.

According to Socrates, the secret to change is to focus all your energy not on fighting the old but on building on the new.  How do you build on the new?  The first step is to understand the change you are going through.  Hopefully, you spent time this last summer talking with your child about their expectations of college.  Look at your emotions and find a way to deal with them.  Do you feel left out?  Within healthy boundaries, stay connected.  Facebook does have its advantages.

Eleanor Roosevelt’s position was you must do the thing you think you cannot do.  Ok, how?  Have you ever heard the phrase “normalize your fears”?  That is, look at your fears and discover that your fears are not insurmountable.  What are your emotions?  You miss cooking dinner and you feel left behind.  Would it help you if you found a charity that provides food for the needy?  Have you considered volunteering at church to take supper to those in need?  Your goal is to find a way to move your emotions from negative into a positive outlook.

C.S. Lewis found that getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars in that you have to let go at some point in order to move forward.  How do you find the strength to reach the next bar?  Do you feel like you are competing in American Ninja Warrior?  Have you noticed that positive emotions build your strength, negative emotions drain you?  So focus on the positive.  You have moved bars in the past.  Stop and take time to look for the positive.  For example, you have more time for hobbies.  Look closely, you will find positives. “Twenty years from now you will be disappointed by the things you didn’t do more than by the ones you did.  So throw off the bowlines.  Sail away from the safe harbor.  Catch the trade winds in your sails.  Explore.  Dream.  Discover.” Mark Twain

Ecclesiastes 4:12 counsels though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves and a cord of three strands is not quickly broken.  Following this recommendation, find friends with whom you can share experiences.  You may find that you are able to help others who are struggling with transitions in their lives.  Been there and done that is a great foundation to help others.

Remember …

For everything that happens in life—there is a season, a right time for everything under heaven.  Ecclesiastes 3:1

Call us with your feedback, comments, issues, or questions; our phone number is 434-808-2637.

About Cheryl & Dennis Gowin

Cheryl Gowin, Counselor and Dennis Gowin, Director of Discovery Counseling Center. Contact us with your feedback, comments, issues or questions at 434-808-2426 or dgowin@discoverycounseling.org.

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