Sometimes life moves in such directions that we can tell that big changes are approaching, or we actually find ourselves in the middle of them quite quickly. These can often be times when we know that some of what has been true about our lives will now be different, but we’re not exactly sure of what is to come next.
Perhaps sometimes these changes culminate in a particular experience when we know there’s no turning back to what was, only moving forward into whatever will be. Other times, maybe we’ve had a chance to step back from our lives and view them differently, perhaps while on a vacation, during a shift in the normal routines, or in any other way through a different lens.
However that happens, one thing I’ve learned about big changes is that they offer us a huge opportunity to really pull us into focus of the present, of the here and now.
This may sound counter-intuitive. If we’re letting go of some big past part of our lives, our tendency may be to reflect greatly on that part. If we’re unsure of what the future may bring, our tendency may be to wonder about that. But in reality, we’re still doing all of these things in the here and now, no matter where our mind or heart spaces may bring us.
Our lives have shifted in some way. Sometimes we can be very unsure of which direction to take next. And so we can take the time of any given moment to reflect, to step back, to view things in perhaps a different light.
Sometimes, I’ve learned, all it seems to take to find a new perspective shift is to simply and openly ask. “How can I see this differently?” Sometimes a simple open question may be all it takes for us to open our minds and hearts to some insights that can really help us understand deeper and propel us forward. And sometimes, asking openly may lead us to resources, people, or other ways of finding out answers or insights that can be priceless to us.
It may sound too easy—“Ask and you shall receive.” And the answers may not come immediately, or in exactly the ways we may think or hope they may. But when we open ourselves up to receive, when we know that we are supported in some greater, perhaps mysterious way in this world, when we can grow in peace with whatever now is even if we simultaneously feel uncertain, afraid, or any other way, and still stay open and receptive to what may be, our lives can move in beautiful ways over time.
Another thing I’ve learned about big changes is that they often give us huge opportunities to grow in greater love for ourselves. This also may seem like a counter-cultural statement. Sometimes our focus can become so wrapped up around the loved ones in our lives that we forget that we also need our own nourishment. We may really be surprised to find that in honoring and nurturing ourselves in greater ways, we have so much more to actually give to others. If our gas tank is running on empty, how much, truly, can we give out without becoming worn down, stressed out, resentful, or bitter?
I’ve found that when we give to everyone and put ourselves last, it might be because of an understanding that we may not feel as deserving as we feel others are. We may not feel as worthy of our own love and nurturing. But we are really the most worthy of it! Who else can provide exactly what we need, when we need it, every moment of every day? Of course, we benefit from community and from giving to others. Yet, when all is said and done, we deserve to be a huge priority in our own lives. And we may find that when we give ourselves permission to take that priority, everyone around us may also actually benefit even more.
Some changes call for our own love, but perhaps in different, more internal ways. Maybe things are shifting because of an old pattern in our lives which seems to keep repeating itself, and this time, we become aware of it and want to try something different. Maybe that is a call for us to search out that little child within us who may have learned to act in certain ways while growing up.
Maybe all that little inner child needs is to know that we—the grown-ups now—are here for them. We can love that child, no matter how he or she may or may not have been loved before. We can imagine him or her, and we can actually have a conversation. “What do you want to tell me? What do you need from me right now?” And we can listen for the answers to come up from our hearts.
We can give love to any fears that may naturally arise. We can give love to any anger. We can give love to any other parts of ourselves or our child selves that may feel neglected, abandoned, betrayed, shamed, or anything else! We can do that now! And if we let ourselves start to do this, we may realize that our inner child was simply acting out in certain ways because they wanted to be heard. They wanted to be seen. They wanted that extra reassurance and love, but from us now! And we can know that we have the strength and courage within ourselves now to send so much love to any of those parts of ourselves that just want to know that they matter. Amazingly, in doing this, those parts or feelings that we may not like might actually subside. We’ve made greater peace with them. They know they’ve been heard.
It is often said that we act as mirrors for one another. So if we see something in someone else that we really can’t stand, perhaps we’re also being shown a part of ourselves which is fearful, angry, or afraid, and needs more of that love we can offer it.
It can be challenging to acknowledge a possibility that some people may get on our nerves at times because we may see in them a part of ourselves we may not like. But truthfully, whatever emotion we like or don’t like about someone else is one we are also capable of feeling. Because we’re just as human on an equally fundamental level, we are also capable of it. And maybe those parts of ourselves just need some extra attention and care. Maybe that’s one of the opportunities that the changes in our lives are trying to offer us.
If you’re going through a big change right now, the answers may not always be clear. The lessons or opportunities may not have shown up yet. But I want to reassure you that you are not alone in this journey, even if you feel alone, and that it’s okay to feel however you’re feeling. And if you let even just a small part of yourself remain open to all you may learn over time from whatever is changing in your life, you may reap benefits that may be greater than you can even imagine right now.
It can be easy to fall into the natural feelings that often arise with change—feelings of grief, for instance. Feelings of fear, or anger, or depression, or purposelessness, or confusion. And all those feelings are very normal and valid to have and to express. But at the same time, I want to challenge you to remain open, as best as you are able, to what these changes may be trying to offer to you.
It’s okay if you don’t know those things now. It’s even okay if you feel that there are times you’d rather not know! And it’s okay if you’re feeling the craving for stability and routine once again. Yet, change is such a huge part of all of our lives. And if we can stay even a little open to it when it shows up, we may never know what it may have to share with us.
Through change, you can grow to be one of your own best friends. Through change, you can also become more open to reaching out to others and in different ways. You can even do both of these paradoxical things simultaneously! Whatever you do, and however you navigate your big changes, please know that you matter and are valuable—no matter what.
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I’d love to hear from you! Shoot me a personal note through my Contact page, or leave a comment below. How have you dealt with big changes in your life? What are some of the greatest things you’ve learned from them? Were they things that you couldn’t have known you may learn until you understood them much later?
Are you feeling called to do some deeper self-reflective work at this time in your life? Check out my first book here.
No matter what, always remember this: You are deserving, you are worthy, and you are good enough. Keep being you, keep shining, and keep growing!
With great love,