How to Move Through Painful Transitions

The seasons changing.
Going through a breakup or divorce.
Losing your job or getting a promotion.
Moving homes or moving across country.

What do all of these have in common? They are all transitions.

I am in one right now and it is not easy. For months now I have been struggling with the changes in my life.

As of May we decided that we were going to move. We outgrew our space in our downtown Austin apartment, and we decided that it was time to try something new. I have to admit it was not an easy decision because we love our friends and family in Texas.

However, as travelers, Aaron and I have always lived for adventure. The challenge this time is that there is a new factor, our little one.

For the first time in our lives, moving hasn’t been fun or easy.

It has been confusing, hard, sad, and overwhelming. We have temporarily moved in with Aaron’s parents, and we are so happy to have the beautiful relationship we have with them. They are amazing with Ayla, and she seems to be transitioning better than either of us.

However, in recent weeks we have realized that we haven’t found our final landing place. Part of the challenge with this transition is that it isn’t just us anymore.

And because of our little love bug every decision seems more important and the opinions about where we “should” be are even louder. While the positive intention behind these opinions is love, it is hard to please everyone — including ourselves.

While in transition I have realized 5 things that I wanted to share that have been helpful for me.

1) Acknowledge that your experience is okay just as it is.

If you are having a hard time, an easy time, or mixed reviews… it is okay. Whatever you are experiencing is fine. Everyone else, including ourselves, wants us to be happy, but that just isn’t always the case. Sometimes being uncomfortable or unhappy can help guide us to what is more “right” for us.

2) Listen inward instead of outward.

There are often a lot of opinions and judgements about how you do things. That is great and they generally come from a place of love. However, it is most important in this time of transition to determine your values. What is important to you? As I remind myself, my husband and my clients, “You are the only person who has to go to bed and wake up with your decision everyday. So if it is only for someone else, then it probably isn’t the right decision for you.”

3) Take care of yourself.

What are some things that you can do for yourself regularly that make you feel good? Is it movement, eating well, spending time in nature, journaling, socializing, sleeping, pampering, etc? Whatever it is, do a little something for yourself everyday. It can be as small as taking a shower and giving yourself a couple extra minutes.

4) Have honest, open communication.

Ask for what you want and don’t want. There are nice ways of setting boundaries, but they are incredibly important. People can’t read your mind, and if you set them up for success by telling them how you feel and what you need, you are more likely going to be engaged in a situation that works for both of you.

5) Remember that these feelings are temporary.

Have you ever heard the expression, “this too shall pass”? It is true for both positive and negative experiences. When I am feeling down, I remind myself that this too shall pass. When I am feeling good, I remember that this too shall pass. This gives me perspective on my current experience and a greater appreciation for life.

Whatever you are going through right now, be gentle with yourself.

You are okay and doing it just right. As a wise person once said, when you know better, you will do better. As I tell this to you I am also reminding myself, you are doing the best you can with what you are given.

Listen inward and the truth will become clear.

If you want some support with your transition, go here for resources and other ways to work with me.

With love to you in whatever transition you are experiencing.

2 Responses

  1. Rick Broadway

    Thinking of you , Aaron, and Ayla. You truly are an inspiration even in your own struggles. Thanks for the wise words! Blessings on you Laura!

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