I have been thinking over the last few days about transitions. What they are, how they show up in our lives and how important they can be to recognize. It seems the first big transition in our lives is one we don’t actually have a memory for as it is the time of our coming into being, then there is our birth. Sometimes this transition can be traumatic for both the mother and child, sometimes just for one and sometimes there can be a transition from life to death even within this first step.
The next major transition is baby to toddler, we start to walk, talk, become more self-aware, connect to others in a more conscious way and we start to learn the foundation of what it is to live with family. Then toddler to child, and child to teenager. I know as a mom of two children, one firmly out of the teenage years and one just on the leaving edge, this can be a time of grief as well. A time when we watch our babies grow into adults, see them fight at times for their autonomy and their right to choose who they are. A time to remember to be grateful, those moments when all we want to do as the teenager and the parent is to bury under the covers and stop the progression.
After teenagers we become adults, parents… experiencing from the outside what it was to go through the transitions from within. Perhaps that is why, when conscious about it, we, as parents, can lend perspective and help with the inner work of the younger generation.
Then we have the other transitions, the times when relationships begin and end. These relationships may be a friendship, partnership or a legal marriage. The beginnings always seem to be filled with fun, dreams for the future and even expectations and hopes… “perhaps this one will be different?” We also may see the other person in a way that isn’t truly “seeing” them, the best version/illusion of themselves. The endings, that’s when things can become tricky. Sometimes this transition is more of an awakening - a recognition that who we are now and who they are is someone we no longer want or desire to be with. This is when the work really begins; how do we end a relationship with grace? How do we “check the ego at the door”? All the earlier transitions, birth, toddler, child, teenager, adult… every one of these events and all the small ones in between play a part in building our foundation, creating who we are as a person and who we chose to be when in crisis… which a break up most definitely is.
Then jobs…leaving or starting a new job is always a transition. We each get to choose how we “show up” for the job, how we connect to our coworkers, and then how we leave. Like learning to walk, a new job can feel painful, challenging and exciting all in one…new vistas and new possibilities opening before us. When we leave it may be the same way, how do we each internalize and process these changes?
Then, after our life is lived we have our last transition, do we go gracefully? Do we pass with love and gratitude? Do we hold anger and fear? Each transition can be challenging, painful, a huge learning experience and also something to be grateful for.
How do you process yours?