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Transitions and Transformations in Trying Time

Linda: Webster defines “transition” as a passage or process of changing from one form to another. It has been said that we live in a time of transition, of rapid change, and things in our fast paced society don’t show signs of slowing down any time soon. Researchers tell us that the average high school graduate is going to have nine different careers in their lifetime! The people who are faring the best in these challenging times are those who have learned to ride out transitions and make the best of them.

We experience transitions throughout our lives. Some of them we choose, and some of them come uninvited. Transitions occur when we graduate from high school, leave college, get married, become parents, or change careers. We transition when we move to a different community or when we retire. These are some of the well-known markers that characterize maturation during our life span. There are other transitions that while not as obvious, are nonetheless still very real. Examples of these are health problems, financial change for the worse or better, our children leaving home, or a loss that occurs through death, divorce or for any other reason. Some transitions are more subtle, such as the identity shift that occurs when we recover from an addiction, or become more forgiving or less perfectionistic or any other changes in our personalities.

Some people get tossed around by life changes that can affect them for weeks, months, or even years. Others may recover more quickly and use the crisis to prompt growth and the opening of new possibilities. These people are the ones who have cultivated the quality of resilience. They bounce back more easily. We can’t prevent life from slapping us upside the head, often when we least expect it. And lucky breaks are random and unpredictable.

We do have the power to determine how we respond to what befalls us. Each rupture in our life is fraught with opportunity for growth. Transformation involves a shift in our attitude or perspective that allows for the experience of new possibilities. Each transition provides a chance to come back to a truer version of who we are.

Although transitions usually look like problems at first, the option is always there to cultivate an attitude of curiosity and wonder. We can hold these circumstances as a message from the Dean of the University of Life, and take advantage of the teachings and gifts. It is not a process of denying the dark shadow side of change, which may include feelings of sadness, fear, anxiety, grief, disappointment or anger. But it has to do with holding an open mind, spacious enough to contain the dark as well as the golden. For those of us who are naturally resilient and optimistic, this will come more easily. Others may have to work harder and stretch further to respond to transitions as the growth opportunities that they are. For both groups, the big questions are: What is there for me to learn here? What do I really want? What are my true needs? What do I need to develop in myself to order to effectively meet this challenge? Who will be my supports?

For many of us, cultivating an attitude of patience and curiosity is our growing edge. Remaining open in the midst of the chaos and confusion that often accompanies change can be a huge challenge. Only if we look deeply into our own lives can we see what will be required of us to make the journey from the life that we have previously known to the rebirth on the other side.

Believe it or not, this process does not have to be an ordeal, but can actually be profoundly energizing, life enhancing, exciting and even fun! You don’t have to worry about finding or creating the right learning opportunities. Once you commit yourself to the process they’ll show up. They always do. They always will. It’s just that before we make the commitment, we mistake those precious opportunities for problems, which we’d rather avoid.

Warning: This process can be habit forming, so be prepared to recognize lots of growth opportunities with your new perspective. Some people find it so compelling that they don’t have time for many of the activities they used to engage in like worrying, watching TV or holding grudges. Maybe some things aren’t so bad to give up.

 

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Our newest book, That Which Doesn’t Kill Us: How One Couple Got Stronger at the Broken Places,  has just been published by Sacred Life Publishers and been receiving rave reviews. Their story is illuminating, instructive, and deeply inspiring. It has been described as being as compelling and engaging as a page-turning novel. The book contains powerful messages that are embedded in its pages that can serve any couple that desires valuable wisdom which can serve them in facing the inevitable challenges that frequently confront many committed partnerships. The book is available on-line on Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble. You can also receive a signed copy of That Which Doesn’t Kill Us by ordering directly from Bloomwork by calling (831) 421-9822 or emailing us at [email protected]. The cost is $16.95 plus tax, shipping & handling.

Transitions and Transformations in Trying Time

Bloomwork

Linda Bloom LCSW and Charlie Bloom MSW are considered experts in the field of relationships. They have been married since 1972. They have both been trained as seminar leaders, therapists and relationship counselors and have been working with individuals, couples, and groups since 1975. They have been featured presenters at numerous conferences, universities, and institutions of learning throughout the country and overseas as well. They have appeared on over two hundred radio and TV programs. Linda and Charlie are co-authors of the widely acclaimed books: 101 Things I Wish I Knew When I Got Married: Simple Lessons to Make Love Last (over 100,000 copies sold) Secrets of Great Marriages: Real Truth from Real Couples about Lasting Love, and Happily Ever After...and 39 Other Myths about Love: Breaking Through to the Relationship of Your Dreams. The Blooms are excited to announce the release of their fourth book, That Which Doesn't Kill Us: How One Couple Became Stronger at the Broken Places. They live in Santa Cruz, California, near their two children and three grandchildren. To view our upcoming events and to sign up for our free newsletter, visit our website at: www.Bloomwork.com


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APA Reference
Bloom, L. (2018). Transitions and Transformations in Trying Time. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 15, 2018, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/relationship-skills/2018/05/transitions-and-transformations-in-trying-time/

 

Last updated: 24 May 2018
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 24 May 2018
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.