When going through difficult life transitions such as losing your job, the end of a relationship, a crisis of faith, or a disease diagnosis it can feel like you’ve lost your footing in life.
If that’s you, and hope is in short supply, here are some things to remember . . .
1. YOU ARE NOT ALONE
Sometimes during major and difficult life transitions, we don’t want to burden others with our fear and pain. While there’s a time and place for Stoicism, there’s also a time and place for seeking support.
The understanding of friends and family, the guidance of trusted clergy, the safety of a support group, or the treatment of mental health professionals are all resources you can call on in challenging times.
Don’t be afraid, or too proud, to reach out.
2. IT’S OKAY TO CUT YOURSELF SOME SLACK
We goal-oriented people have a hard time cutting ourselves slack. The world may be crumbling around us, yet we’ll still berate ourselves for not doing enough, and not doing well enough.
Hard work can be good therapy, no doubt. But when going through difficult life transitions it’s a good idea to give our inner Taskmaster a vacation and be kinder to ourselves.
Set goals, but maybe easier or fewer goals for the time being. Or set goals specifically about healing, self-care, and fun (another thing goal oriented people have a hard time doing!).
3. PAIN IS IMPERMANENT
When in the thick of hardship it may feel like we’ll be confused and miserable forever, this isn’t so.
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.Ecclesiastes 3:1
Like all things, pain passes in due season. Confusion resolves itself, one way or another. Wounds heal. Life goes on.
4. YOUR BREAKTHROUGH COULD BE NEAR
Have you noticed that many life breakthroughs tend to be proceeded by periods of confusion or pain? How sometimes afterwards you look back on the challenging period and realize that without it you’d never have ended up in a much better place?
You get fired from the job you didn’t really like but which was safe and familiar. You spend weeks then months looking for a similar job, with no luck. Desperate, you begin applying for anything and everything you can. Finally, you get hired in a field you’d never considered . . . and to your amazement, you love it. And you excel at it. You get one promotion and raise after another. In the process your confidence grows, so one day you ask that hot barista out for a date. You get married. You live happily ever after.
During the period of transition just after being fired this fabulous future was unimaginable. Once this future has become a reality, you look back and realize how LUCKY you were to have been fired, even if you couldn’t see it at the time.
That moment of pain was actually the moment when the stars aligned for you.
5. THERE’S ALWAYS REASON FOR GRATITUDE
Right now your life may look grim, but there’s always much to be grateful for. Your friends, family, the roof over your head. Yes, the foundations of life as you’ve known it may be quaking, but right here and now you are safe and complete.
There’s a roof over your head, food in the fridge, it’s sunny outside, so you can go for a walk and enjoy the fresh air. Be grateful.
In and out, your breath keeps going on its own, and your heart keeps beating. You’re alive. Be grateful.
The challenges you’re facing have within them the seeds of opportunity because all change is an opportunity. To feel, to try, to grow. Be grateful.
6. IT’S OKAY TO AVOID NEGATIVE PEOPLE
While you hopefully have friends and family who are loving and supportive during this period of change, you may also know some Negative Nelly’s or drama queens who can’t resist an opportunity to make bad situations worse.
It’s always a good idea to limit the time you spend with negative influencers, but it’s especially important during tough times in your life.
So . . .
Remind yourself that it’s okay to refuse their invitations to hang out right now. You need the support of positive people, not the company of those who are habitually negative and discouraging. This doesn’t make you a bad person, it makes you a wise one.
Do you have other “things to remember,” for dealing with tough times and life transitions? Please share below!
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