Transitions

Changes are a constant in life.  Some are very welcome, like a better job, a new relationship, a new child.  Some are not welcome at all, the end of relationship, the loss of a job, or the death of a loved one.  Each of these changes are nothing more than a transition in our lives.

I am a firm believer in the power of the universe.  The cliche of, “when one door closes another opens” is an adage I subscribe to.  If the loss of a job is viewed appropriately, you will see that you have been given the opportunity to find a better job.  When I lost my job with Disney, I thought for sure I would never recover.  I literally felt it was the end of my world.  Then, out of the blue, a friend of mine called and asked if I had any interest in leaving Disney to work in education.  Did I?  It was an answer to many many prayers.  My degree is in education so it was the perfect transition for me.  I wasn’t even out of work for a week before I began teaching.  That was almost a decade ago.  And though I have not always been 100% happy, I can definitely say I found a job that I am very good, where I make a difference in kids’ lives.

The transitions that are hardest for us to understand and embrace are the loss of a relationship or the death of a loved on.  There are many relationships that transition from one form to another each second of each day.  The transition of friendship to romantic love, the transition of stranger to friend, the transition from romantic love to friendship, and the transition of romantic love to no relationship at all.  Some of these transitions are joyous and some are painful and torturous.  But each transition is a growing experience.  We often see breakups as a negative gut wrenching experience.  And having been through many break-ups, I speak from experience.  They are painful.  You wonder what is wrong with you, why you are unlovable, why no one wants you.  These are not the thoughts to ponder.  Every experience in life, every person we meet teaches us valuable lessons.  Our choice is to decide, are we going to learn the lessons or are we going to dwell on the negative aspects of the transition?

As my current relationship is embroiled in the throes of transition, this idea became a stark reality.  Can a transition be made smoothly?  Does a transition need to be made (often this choice isn’t ours…it is made for us)? Can I accept what the relationship might transition to? More importantly, can he?  Can he see the positives of transition?  For that matter, can I see those positives?  But again, transitions occur constantly in life; change is constant.  We will both survive and grow and thrive from whatever transitions life offers.  But it is difficult to see the forest through the thicket of trees we are currently lost in.

Of course, relationship transitions are nothing compared to life’s greatest transition, death. Death, is the ultimate transition.  We fear death as the unknown.  I have been afraid of dying most of my life.  That is until I began re-examining the roots of my fears.  These fears became muted when my father began taking me to Cassdega, Florida.  I met many kind and wonderful psychics and mediums.  Here they commune with those who have passed on.  With their help I realized that death was the next great adventure.  Unknown, yes, but an adventure none the less.  Please don’t get me wrong.  I am not ready for death, I don’t plan to embark on this adventure for quite a number of years, but I am no longer scared of it.

The other side of this fear comes from losing those you love.  As my parents grow older, I fear the loss of their presence here on this plane.  Both of my parents are healthy and vibrant people, but the thoughts do still pervade my psyche.  I am not ready for them to leave me.  And that is where fear takes its grip.  What will it be like without them?  How will it feel when I can’t visit them, talk to them on the phone, or hug them?  I will be ready to face the challenge of this transition when the time approaches.  For the time being, I do not relish the idea, and each day I pray for their continued good health and long life.

These fears have become more real for me recently as my uncle’s partner has been facing her own mortality.  She was a strong vibrant woman that cancer has wasted way.  I worry about her, my uncle, my cousin, and my mother who have all taken on her daily care.  The transition has been painful and stressful for all.  I remember when my grandfather passed away, after nine years of suffering from the aftermath of several strokes.  Many people, including my grandmother, felt he was finally at peace.  That is the opposite of our fears.  Knowing that someone has suffered makes death appear as a blessing for some.  For others it sparks anger and even more fear.  As with all transitions, it is the way you view it, and the positive or negative energy you attribute to it.

Thich Nhat Hanh has written many great books, but one of my favorites is, “No Death, No Fear”.  It is an amazing book that helped open my eyes to death, and more importantly, all of life’s transitions.  Begin to see these transitions for the positive changes that they are.  Embrace transition, no matter how scared you are.  Open your mind and your heart to the possibilities.

Namasté
Matthew