Between No Longer and Not Yet, a line by Joan Borysenko, Ph.D. struck me as a powerful statement of how difficult change and uncertainty can be. There is a space when you know that your life has changed dramatically. Perhaps a loss, an illness, a birth -all the beliefs you had about yourself and your life are now different. You are forced to reexamine or question your thoughts and know you and your life have to change but didn’t know exactly when, how or what to do. it is a time of ambiguity and uncertainty.
This difficult dark time is often called the “dark night of the soul”. Borysenko points out that if you look at this change process like the shape of a smile, you must go down before you can go up. We all need time to reflect on these rites of passage that life brings. Nothing stays the same but our task is to find the way to transform and adapt to the changes.
How do you find your strength and your resiliency to move forward ? Perhaps you can or do not want to go back to where you were, but must find another way to think or live. It is often scary to not know what is up ahead. We realize the lack of control we have over many of the aspects of our lives. The uncomfortable space of accepting between no longer and not yet is our chance to transform. It can be a very challenging place to find your way through and forward.
Begin to think about who or what helps you manage that uncertain place and find your way to the other side. What can you do to help you deal with ambiguity and being unsure of how it will all work out? What risks are you willing to make to move forward? Are there special people in your life that provide a place to question, to support and help you gain the confidence to move forward and create a new sense of safety? What ways do you have to take care of yourself both physically and emotionally?
Someone compared life to a croquet game. ( Look it up if you don’t recognize this yard game!!) You can try to go around the wickets, but in order to get to the other side, you must go through each wicket. Life is not easy for most of us and does not always go in a straight line. Learning the skills needed to get through the wickets is a life long process. The uncertainty of knowing what you have lost or what has changed and not knowing what you can count on in the future is challenging given that certainty and constancy is what we most seek. The only constant is change as we move forward in our lives. My hope is that the many blogs on this website will provide you some tools to manage the journey.