If you’re in the middle of a transition, read this.
I’ve noticed over the last few months that all of my clients are going through some sort of transition. Whether they’re making a career move, speaking their truth more in relationships, are becoming empty-nesters or are transitioning away from perfectionism towards joy and self-compassion, everyone’s moving out of one thing towards another that’s altogether new.
I myself am in the middle of a major transition as my partner and I have decided to move in together. (!!!!!!!!!!) And what I’ve noticed is that while we’re in transition it’s hard to pinpoint who we fully are. We’re no longer the person we were before the transition began and yet we haven’t fully become the person we’ll be once the transition is over.
We’re in limbo which, as any control-freak person who doesn’t enjoy the unknown knows, is shitty. Limbo sucks and so we want the transition to happen quicker, sooner. Once we’ve said yes to the transition we just want it to be the new way NOW.
And then, for others of us, transitions are tricky because though we know it’s time for change, we’re not quite ready to let go of our pre-transition self.
I was struggling with this one big time about a month ago when I began telling people that Adam and I were moving in. “Are you excited???”, everyone asked. “Kind of,” I said warily. But the truth was, excitement was the last thing I was feeling.
Concern? Check. Worry? Yep, got that one. Doubt? Present. Fear? In spades. Excitement? Not so much.
I began to dig into my feelings to figure out, WHY, if I love this man and want to live with him, wasn’t I excited?
And then it hit me.
I was afraid of losing my awesome single self. Over the last 3 years since my divorce I’ve learned lessons and grown in ways that have profoundly changed me. I found a sense of presence, peace and power within myself that I didn’t know was possible and what I realized is I had attached that growth to my singlehood and believed that by moving in, I’d lose every shred of awesomeness I’d worked so hard to get.
And so I had a choice. I could believe that fear-based narrative, not move in with Adam and stay single the rest of my life (TEMPTING) or I could acknowledge my single self, love her up for all she’s done for me and get clear on the pieces of her I want to take with me into my newest life stage.
What started out as a simple list of acknowledgments blossomed into a full blown Thank You-Love Letter that reminded me not only of how far I’ve come and my incredible personal power but also that the lessons learned are here to stay, no matter what I’m transitioning out of or into. And though I may have moments of fear, knowing that I’ll always have badass single Jamie by my side excites me for what’s to come.
If you too are in the middle of a transition, take a moment and write your own Thank You-Love Letter to the self that you’re transitioning out of. What do you love and admire about her? What lessons has she learned and what traits of hers do you want to take with you?
After that, write a Welcome Letter to the person you’d like to transition into. What does she stand for? How does she walk and talk and eat and express? What inspires you about her and why are you excited to meet her?
I recently had a client of mine do this exact exercise for her transition into empty-nesting. She wrote a Thank You-Love Letter to her “full time mom” self. She thanked her mom self for the lunches she made, hugs she gave and all those long nights up with sick kids. She honored everything she did during those years with her children at home and in doing so opened the door (with a Welcome letter to boot!) for her new sassy, pleasure-focused, “empty-nester” self to emerge. (She’s named this new self Joy.)
Happy trails on your current transition and be sure to give your past, present and future selves lots of love along the way.