Yesterday, I wrote about reinventing yourself in Adapting Post A Traumatic Change. Pepe asked, “How does one start though? Or where does one look to get ideas? Especially when life feels like it’s at a stand still.”
This is a great question. First, you want to consider wrapping up your grieving process. It’s not necessary, you be completely through it, but it probably is necessary to realize you’re in this process. These are the five stages of grief:
1. Denial & Isolation
You’re not likely to become committed to reinventing yourself until and unless you come to a point where you realize that whatever it is you’ve lost, is not coming back. It’s at this point, you’ll realize, you’ve got to start from scratch.
You can think of this as if a tornado came through and flattened your house. Your house is gone. It’s not going to reappear, so what are you going to rebuild in it’s place? Deciding that you’re going to rebuild (as opposed to standing in place, staring the ruins of what was), represents the turning point. This is also the point where doors will open.
This is a Jupiter thing. You’re opting to lay down your pain and look to your future. You have faith.
If this is hard for you, just imagine the analogy of the house, burned to the ground. You can fixate on the loss for years. Or you can turn can look to the horizon for opportunities. Opportunities always exist.
Pepe specifically asks where one looks for ideas. I’m pretty sure, once your mind is open, ideas come to you. But I’ll give you a practical example.
In the last post I wrote about my sudden, unexpected, empty nest. I landed in a part of the country where the culture was very different than anything I’d ever experienced. I’d driven kids to school for two decades. I’d entertained their friends. I was defined by this. I was a mom. And now what?
I ran into an older couple from Australia. This is the American South. How’s that for foreign? They seemed happy. They’d managed. I wondered how. One day I asked the wife if they had any kids.
“We have four kids, strewn about,” she said. Strewn about the world, this was. I thought that was a great answer. It gave me an idea.
I realized I had to let go of being somene’s mom. My husband had to do this too. Our kids are grown; they are no longer the center of our effort and attention. They’re off living their own lives. We had to become an older couple, basically.
Like it or not, I was heading into my post-kids era. All that energy put into driving carpool all those years had to be redirected. I decided to shift into this other gear as gracefully as possible. Once I shut the one door, the next one opened pretty readily.
Back to, Pepe’s question, if your life is at a standstill, it’s probably because you’re standing still. But in reality, it’s not possible to stand still. Things are constantly changing, inside and out. The old adage, get busy living or get busy dying is really true.
Do you feel your life is at a standstill? What keeps you from seeking a door?