Change with the Mourning
The Psalmist said, “Joy comes with the morning” [Psalm 30:5] It is my experience and observation, that change comes with mourning.
Change and loss are linked together. They are inseparable, a package deal. Change can be exciting and accelerating or daunting and frightening. It can depend on whether you choose the change or whether the change is forced upon you. Whatever change you find yourself in, loss comes as the uninvited guest. You always need to hug the cactus called loss when change shows up.
If you have experienced the loss of a parent, sibling, spouse or a child, you are acutely aware of the feelings of loss and the journey down the long road of grief. Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross has identified five stages of the grieving process.
Others have identified seven stages of grieving. The point is that it is a long hard journey. The intensity of the grief varies with the significance of the loss. The loss of an acquaintance or a distant relative can be painful but pales in comparison to the overwhelming feeling and confusion of the loss of someone close to you. A parent, spouse, sibling or child’s life is completely intertwined with yours. The loss touches every part of your life. You are clenched in a long embrace with the cactus called loss. And remember it is a package deal – change comes with it.
The experts tell us to tackle the mourning / grieving process head on. Lean into it, embrace it, tackle it, grab the bull by the horns, immerse yourself- choose your favorite phase. The grieving process is a journey that must be made and there are no shortcuts, no “get-out-of-jail-free” cards. It is a path that must be traveled. It is also best not to dawdle or distract yourself along the way. Sometimes people try to numb the pain or feelings with drugs, alcohol or any number of distractions. It makes the journey much longer and more difficult to complete. To come through the other side of a loss, to be healthy and even thriving, you must complete the journey.
What about a career or life change?
It is easy to understand the impact and significance of the loss of a loved one. But what does that have to do with a career change or some improvement you want to make in your life?
Change and loss; “Two sides of the same coin”. When we make a change, there is ALWAYS a loss that must be embraced. If it is a change we choose to make and we are excited and energized about the change, we often overlook the loss that comes with it. We wonder why we have these confused feelings. Happy, excited, sad and longing all mixed together. The loss must be identified, acknowledged and processed so that you are free to move fully forward with your change. For example, even if you leave a job you hate, there are losses. It could be the loss of relationships with colleagues, customers or vendors. Or maybe there is loss of identity, loss of a good working location or an easy commute. There is always a loss that must be processed through the grieving process.
Change can also be forced upon you – not your choice. Loss of a job, loss of an ability, loss of _____ . Fill in the blank. When this happens, we tend to focus on the loss. But we are blind or unaware of the opportunities before us. So yes, lean in to the loss. Travel the path through the stages of grief. But at the same time ask the questions: What are the opportunities before me? What doors have opened? What new perspectives have I gained? What are the possibilities?
And yes, you can feel a little crazy at this time. You are looking at the “what ifs” and the “what was” at the same time. This is where a life coach and the coaching process can help. With the coaching process, you can clarify the current situation, identify the opportunities, set goals, make a plan and take actionable steps to move forward in your change. At the same time, you can acknowledge your loss and develop strategies for moving through the grieving process. Your coach is there as your partner through this journey.
Do you have a “change – loss” package you are dealing with? I am here to help. I am passionate about helping others make change in their lives and work through the losses that come with change.
Contact me here. See if coaching can make a difference for you.