What is it about transition times that makes the process so unnerving? Is it the disorientation that comes from having a plan or an expectation, and then reality not matching that expectation? Is there a feeling of being “less than” or even “rejected” by what you want? The frustration of seeing everyone around you getting what YOU want and wondering why you aren’t getting it too? Or maybe it comes back to the down to the bones feeling of “there must be something wrong with me that this isn’t happening the way that it “should’.”
If you haven’t noticed by now, life throws curve balls.
I’m witnessing one of those curveballs right now in the life of somebody I love dearly. When you, or someone you love is going through a transition time and Reality is not matching up with the Dream, how do you hold space for them to work their way through the experience with your support while giving them enough space to have their experience in a way that brings them the growth they have the potential to harvest through an opportunity like this? If it is you, how do you work your way through the experience with good support from the ones who love you without feeling like you need to appease them because they are just as stressed about/disappointed about the loss as you are?
Believe it or not, your life not going the way that you’ve planned for/wanted it to or dreamed of presents to you some of the greatest opportunities for growth, transformation, and ultimately freedom.
And these kinds of growing opportunities can be challenging physically, emotionally, and spiritually in ways that may feel overwhelming, paralyzing, and even shaming.
My beautiful daughter, who is 18 and just graduating from high school this month, has had the dream of attending a specific university for years. This is the dream that has propelled her to wake up in the predawn hours, complete her work, and the dream has pushed her to become spectacular student, a leader, and perhaps has encouraged her to take risks she wouldn’t have taken otherwise. The dream has made her a better person in many ways. With the dream compelling her forward, she has blossomed and the specific university could care less. She’s waitlisted, and waiting for the call every day.
Now, if you have ever waited for a “call” like this in any scenario, you know that waiting has it’s challenges. Waiting for a diagnosis, waiting for a divorce, waiting for a relationship or partner, waiting for a pregnancy or a baby, waiting for someone to pass when you know they are at the end…waiting is hard. Waiting is especially hard when there are others waiting for you – and they ask you regularly for updates – well meaning, but certainly driving home the discrepancy between Reality and the Dream.
What to do when you have a plan, a dream, a vision and a Reality that just aren’t matching up?
You can certainly decide you are worthless, no one wants you, life just isn’t worth it, feel victimized or singled out and targeted for such “treatment.” This will give you a big “story”, but not much else than that. In fact, this kind of conclusion will drain the life right out of you and will bring more of these kinds of experiences your way until you GET the opportunity, get out of the cul-de-sac of thinking this way and shift into a new paradigm.
How do you shift, you might wonder? Here are 5 steps to help you do it.
1. Be in the grief of not getting the Dream. Don’t move into the grief and build a house and live here, but DO let it flow through you and stoke your hunger for what the Dream represents for you.
2. Get clear on what the Dream represents and why you want it. For my daughter, attending the University means to her a transition from her teen years to her adult years in a way that connects her, allows her the opportunity to grow, and puts her with people she loves and feels supported by. It’s also beautiful and feeds her that way too.
3. Once you are clear on what the Dream represents, remain in the mystery of how else that same Life Objective might also occur, and let the many opportunities around you move towards you, and they will in ways that are wonderful, surprising and often times BETTER than the original dream you had for yourself.
4. Be willing to say YES to the doors that are opening in service of you, your life, and your growth. This is terrain that may feel threatening and dangerous sometimes as it is unknown, you haven’t “planned” for it, and these are the doors that will take you places that you likely never would have even dreamed of for yourself.
5. Seek support. These are challenging junctures with support and almost unbearable to navigate on your own. Support may not come from the people who love you most as they are also likely hypnotized by the Dream and disappointed by the Reality. They may not be able to hold yet that this is an opportunity unlike any other custom designed to help you grow and blossom.
Navigating transitions like these is something I really enjoy. If you are undergoing your own transition or would like to be of service to another in your life, reach out to me! I’d love to hop on the phone together to brainstorm how you can make these 5 steps personal and relevant for your situation. You can grab your complimentary 30 minute time slot here.