This week, I have been to two church services, back to back.
One was a celebration of marriage, bringing together someone who was particularly close to me with his beloved.
The other one was a celebration of a life well lived, the father of a man I have never met but circumstance made sure I was present at the service.
The contrast of both moments was not lost on me. It immediately reminded me of a conversation I had a while back with my sister where the question was asked:
"How do you deal with transitions?"
If you are anything like me, I find change a bit too difficult to accept. Everybody claims to love change but does not want to change. For me, it is particularly difficult when it involves a disruption in my schedule and routine. I feel almost as if life as I know it has come to a standstill.
It is not an easy process to go through, but it is a necessary one.
I share below 4 steps I learned [from the pastors' sermons] that have initiated a shift in my own thoughts around embracing change and transition.
1|Accept That Transition Is A Part Of Life.
The wedding was emotional for me, and I could not for the life of me stop the tears from falling.
I was not adequately prepared for it, despite having known for months that his wedding was inevitable.
Finally, my brother had grown up. But he was also leaving. He would no longer be the constant presence in our lives that he had always been. The Mr. Fix-it, the chauffeur, the advisor. It's amazing now that I think about it, how versatile, useful and important my brother is
All I could see was how different things were going to be.
It's been two days since. I have taken a trip down to the old days and I am gently persuading myself to be grateful for all the moments we shared. I am regretful of the missed opportunities to bond but I choose to remain with the laughter, joy and good times.
I have found myself increasingly reflecting on the phases of life; birth, growing up and its various stages, getting a job, starting a family, the pressures of adulthood and the final rite of dying. In between all this, life happens. Children are born and grow up to leave their parents to start their own families. People are promoted or demoted. Others become jobless. Sickness knocks at the door.
Life is a series of ups and downs.
At different points in your life, you will move from zero to hero- an analogy my Maths teacher used to make reference to all the time.
The best you can do for yourself is to use the cyclic nature of life to propel yourself upwards and forwards.
2| Learn What You Must At Each Stage.
Take what you need to help you live your best life experience.
Within each moment lies an opportunity to learn and grow. [say it twice]
My brother's wedding now means that I have to woman up and grow into a more independent version of myself. It's scary because I have to learn how do many things that he used to do for me but I am up to the challenge. I am not sure where that will take me, but I am excited to try.
The requiem mass showed me how important it is to live a full life. To live as if no one is watching. You have no idea who is looking at your example.
It is very easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of emotions, thoughts, excitement, drama and euphoria of a situation. At such times, sit still. Take time out to reflect and regroup. You are being called forth to be the brightest, best version of yourself that you can be.
Always remember that you will keep getting the same experiences until life is absolutely sure that you have caught the lesson and are ready to move onto the next stage.
3| Enjoy The Moment.
There is no greater time to learn about people than at their death beds. The tributes flowed freely as one after the other eulogised this great man as an eloquent, elegant and hard working man.
But did he really know all that when he lived? Was he aware that people held him in such high regard?
We are always gifted opportunities to express how we feel about those we care about.
It's never too late to do a kind deed or share of yourself with others.
You have gifts and talents that the world needs to see more of. Don't die with your dreams still in you. I am sure that you have heard that the richest place in the world is the graveyard.
The best time to do anything is now. Before it is too late.
4| Let Go
The late man's wife relived his painful last moments. It was important for her to let it out of her system. We could all feel her pain. The pastor's words to her were that sometimes we are comforted so that we too may be of comfort to others.
As painful as it is, we have to learn how to let go.
Let go of the attachment to things, situations and people that are not working out for our greatest good. And trusting that sometimes, even though we may not be able to see it at the time, everything eventually does work out to our best advantage.
Have you experienced any transition in your own life? How have you dealt with them?
Are you in the middle of a big change right now? How is that going for you?
Let's spread some good karma:
If you know someone who will benefit from this message, feel free to pass it forward.