“Nothing is so painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change.” – Mary Shelly
Have you ever noticed that just when you’re starting to get comfortable with the way things are, something comes along to force a detour… a change of plans?
I felt this recently when a mystery hip pain sidelined me from running, but I’ve experienced it many times throughout my life as well. I felt it as a young wife at 23, and again as a young divorcee at 26. I felt it as I explored my life “alone” in the mountains of Colorado, and again as a new mom at 30.
The cycle continued through every phase of marriage, career, parenting… even my running has endured numerous phases – injuries, PR’s, setbacks, growth.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we could just live in that one phase where we finally feel comfortable, like “masters” of our own universe?
Wouldn’t it be nice if life would just slow down for a minute and allow us to feel “on top of it all?”
But alas, that's not the way life works. It’s not the way growth works. It’s not the way we evolve and realize our true power.
I never realized just how deeply change can hurt until a few weeks ago, the night after my son left for Alaska, and I felt, in my bones, the truth that my first born was now officially off on his own, making his own life in the world. That little boy who I had watched grow from a 5 pound, 14 ounce peanut, into a young man who has become like a best friend. I felt (and still feel) as if the hole in our home and in my heart might not ever heal.
And yet this is exactly as it’s meant to be.
As mothers, we work tirelessly to prepare our children to go out into the world and make their dreams come true, all the while knowing that succeeding in this means that they will fly AWAY from us.
And then what?
Change can be anything from an injury mid-marathon training, “empty-nester-ism,” loss of a loved one, divorce, the end of a career path we thought was our life’s work… anything that derails us from our current track.
In an instant all our well thought out plans are gone, and we are left sitting with… ourselves.
Scary as hell, right?
And yet maybe that’s exactly where we’re meant to be in that moment.
Maybe if we pause, if we just allow that uncomfortable moment between phases, we will find something powerful and precious.
If, instead of immediately rebuilding our training or our life plans, if we just pause and sit in the terrifying feeling of not knowing what’s next… and not NEEDING to know – we might just find the gift within the change.
It’s in that uncomfortable moment we so often try to rush through, the moment between what WAS and what WILL BE, that we find what we’re meant to find…
our power, our answers, our SELF.
It is the priceless gift of that moment, if we take it, that we remember WHY we’re doing it all in the first place.
So, the next time you find yourself in that uncomfortable space of change, that “in between” what WAS and what WILL BE, consider sitting in the discomfort as I am now. Cry, laugh, re-live the memories, and mourn the loss of what was, and then grow silent and listen to what your heart wants you to know.
Your answers and your next steps are there, in the quiet.
Your power is there, in your heart.
Cheers to the next phase,
If you know someone who needs this message today, please share it with her.