Tag Archives: letting go

Transition as a Process

Copyright 2016 by R. A. Robbins

“Most people do not resist change. What we resist is transition. Change is a situational shift. Transition, on the other hand, is the process of letting go of the way things used to be and then taking hold of the way they subsequently become. In between the letting go and the taking hold again, there is a chaotic but potentially creative “neutral zone” when things aren’t the old way, but aren’t really a new way yet either.” —  William Bridges

Out of my own life experiences I have often said, change is easy, learning to live changed is hard. Today’s quote beautifully describes that time between making a change or a “situational shift” and when we finally figure out what to do with it.

Think about some of the major changes in your life and the periods of transition that followed:  

  • From single to married.
  • From married back to single.
  • From being healthy to living with a life altering illness.
  • A lengthy period of illness followed by regained health.
  • The death of a parent.
  • The death of a child.  
  • From student to professional.
  • Loss of a job.
  • Retirement
  • Weight loss or gain.

How could life be different if we started being gentle with ourselves when faced with life changes?  What if instead of trying to rush through the turmoil and even grief that accompanies these sometimes life altering changes we allowed ourselves to begin the process of letting go of the way things used to be and then taking hold of the way they subsequently become.

Even major life changes that are happy ones require us to go through this transition period.  As much as we might love our significant other, learning to live with another person has it’s difficult moments.  Finally landing that job you spent years in school preparing for does not mean you don’t have to learn how to actually do that job in a real life situation. — You got the job, the school you went to taught you the theory of how to do it, but how does this employer want it done?

Life changes are part of life itself. To fight such changes is to  ignore who you truly are: A living, breathing soul on a planet of other living souls all creative and desiring to express that creativity as best we can. However living on a planet with billions of creative beings who all have the ability to make planetary life changes for all us we must learn to be flexible in our own ability to accept change is essential.

The more people there are on this planet of creative people, the more rapid the changes in our lives become. This can create an experience which Alvin Toffler calls Future Shock in his 1984 book where he says the difficulty of changes in our life situation is its rapidity. In the first paragraph of this book he says:

“The acceleration of change in our time is, itself, an elemental force. This accelerative thrust has personal and psychological, as well as sociological, consequences.”

We all are subject to experiencing this “future shock” syndrome. I know I have  experienced it often through my life. In fact this blog would not have ever existed had I not worked through the shock of the future telling me (in the form of my husband) that I would be left behind and stuck in the past if I did not get over my aversion to typing.  Anyone have else have a very strict high school typing teacher who (unintentionally) managed to turn learning to type into a nightmare? Without typing, you can’t use the current internet system. Without the internet, I would have been stuck in the sea of the past.

So we must be willing and skilled in accepting change. It can be fun, adventurous, challenging and very beneficial. It is not necessarily losing the “good old days” simplicity of the past but rather an excitingly new adventure into a new future with new possibilities.

What are the challenges you are facing brought to you by the passage of time? Perhaps we can help one another with ways to learn how to cope with “future shock” and daily life changes.

Letting go…

Copyright 2016 by R.A. Robbins

“Letting go gives us freedom, and freedom is the only condition for happiness. If, in our heart, we still cling to anything – anger, anxiety, or possessions – we cannot be free.” 
― Thich Nhat HanhThe Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching: Transforming Suffering into Peace, Joy, and Liberation

Making Room for Something New

Copyright 2016 by R.A. Robbins

Looking back over 2017 I see that I was enrolled in one long “class” on letting go.  Throughout the year situations would appear to teach a new lesson or re-teach an old one.  One thing I have learned this is year is that sometimes we are called to let go of something to make room for something new.

So what are some of the things I have been given the opportunity to let go?

Letting Go of Fear  Are you afraid?  Many people live in fear.  In fact it can be difficult not to when the world seems such a dark,. dangerous place.

Letting go of fear of war, loss of freedoms and loss of health insurance are of the few things I have been called to deal with this year.  What fears have you been working on letting go?  As I let go of fear it frees up energy to deal with the situation causing me to be afraid.

Letting Go of the Past  No one has trouble with this one, right?  This is something we all face sooner or later and it can be extremely difficult.  I do not intentionally revisit my past because it can to too tempting to pitch a tent and camp out there.

What I have found recently is that when it is time to let go  of something circumstances will occur to encourage that.  Most of these related to the next point, which is…

Letting Go of Weight  Anyone else dealing with this one?  There had been times in my past when I didn’t know when to stop with weight loss.  So when the pounds started dropping off they were met with a good amount of fear and trepidation.  Let’s just say there has been a lot of letting go required of me this year but I am slowly learning to love my new body.

Letting Go of Control  Are you a control freak?  I just raised my hand in case you didn’t see it.  As a “recovering control freak”  this is a learning opportunity I am faced with often.

Seeing myself in the behavior of others has been a big motivation for letting go of a few things in this area.  It can be difficult to admit there are some things we just can’t control, can’t it?

Letting Go of Expectations of Others   Are there relationships in your life that are so problematic you are sure the only solution is to let these people go and get them out of your life?  There are times this is necessary.  No one should live in fear of violence or emotional abuse.  But if this is not the case for you, perhaps what you need to let go of is not the people in your life, but your expectations of them.

Are you expecting people to meet needs in your life, only you can fulfill?  Are you expecting people to be someone other than they are? When I started letting go of expectations of people and relationships my relationships began improving.

Letting go of expectations of others can set the stage for creating new relationships and improving existing ones.  I can’t promise anything, but one of the those difficult people might end up being one of your best friends.  Happened to me.

Letting Go of possessions  Do you hold too tightly to things you own?  Do the things you own actually own you?  Do they take up time, money and attention that could go to your family?  Are you missing opportunities to serve others?

This lesson came to me this year in the form of clothing.  My clothing has always been mostly functional, but I did have a few nice things I made by hand or purchased on sale.  I was not happy when I lost enough weight to need new clothes.  I held on for dear life to those big baggy pants.

I’ve never been a big fan of shopping and just the thought of how much it would cost to replace an entire wardrobe scared me.  Finally a friend got tired of the whole thing and began giving me things from her closet.

One thing I was determined not to let go of was my coats.  But when I reached the sad realization that they could go around me twice and someone else could benefit from them I gave in and admitted to the universe that I needed a new coat.  I ended up with 15 coats and jackets given to me by friends.  Don’t you love that the Universe has a sense of humor?

By letting go of my old clothing (even reluctantly) I made room for not only fun and fashionable new clothes, but new and deeper friendships by allowing others to bless me and be blessed themselves by giving.  I also have the opportunity to pass my blessings on to others by giving my now too large clothes to someone who needs and will welcome them.

Letting go to move forward.  There comes a time when we all need to let go of something to be able to move forward and welcome something new.  We each have our own possessions, emotions, memories, expectations, fear, habits, beliefs and ideas that might be holding us back.

 What are you ready to let go of to make room for something new?