Making Sense of Those Pesky Life Transitions

bayOne of my favorite books of all times is “Transitions: Making Sense of Life’s Changes” by Wiliam Bridges. He wrote it over 25 years ago. It’s been revised and re-released several times this then. It’s truly a classic! Here’s a quote from the book that I especially like:

“Between letting go (of the old) and successfully launching the new there is a time of confusion and emptiness.  People often feel lost during this time, and too often they interpret that lostness as yet another sign that something is wrong.  It is simply a sign that they have entered the fertile chaos of the neutral zone.”

I don’t know too many people who love to go through a life transition. About 90% of the calls I receive for intuitive readings are from people who are contemplating a career change, beginning or ending a relationship, or are coping with a tangible or intangible loss of some kind in their life. I frequently hear people telling me that they’re “stuck” or “in a rut” and yet most are in that limbo state called transition.

It often feels like being lost in the woods. There seem to be no obvious markers that say, “this way to safety.” If you look up the word “transition” in the dictionary, you’ll see definitions like “passing from one to another,” “transformation,” a “passage,” “major change,” “shift” and “development.”  Even though you may feel stuck, these are words that indicate movement and change.  Sometimes it seems there is no apparent progress towards your hopes and dreams. You feel scared that you’re falling apart and might be in this “no place” forever. You may feel stuck and yet often it’s that uncomfortable shift from one place in your life to the next where the most growth occurs.

When I’m in this transition zone and fear that nothing is happening, I find comfort in the example of tulips. You plant them in the fall and they come up in the spring.  In the intervening months, there appears to be nothing going on.  You wouldn’t think of digging them up in the middle of winter and yelling at them that they’re “stuck” and admonishing them to  “grow faster!” They are doing exactly what they need to do. And when all the circumstances needed for their flowering are in the right place, they appear and bloom.  The same is true for your transitions. The wisdom that guides the flowers guides your life as well.

Woman by a lake image available from Shutterstock.

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Shared by: Lyn Robinson M.Ed, Contributing Blogger