2.18.2007

Transitions

If the Holy Spirit is at work when we preach, then it is entirely possible to preach to ourselves because in listening even to our own voice we might just be hearing the wisdom of God. I'm not certain that the same can be said of blogging, but I am willing to give it a try:

I have yet to meet a person who says, “I LOVE transition!” [Having just typed that, I, of course, "had to" Google it and sure enough, others have said it! - but it remains that I do not know them!] To be sure, there are those who love the challenge of a transition, who thrive on the excitement, but a person who loves the transition itself – that state of not knowing where you will be, when you will be going, and struggling to live in the already and the not-yet simultaneously – that person, I have not met.

What can help to mitigate this stress? [For a discussion of the psychology of transition and a more scholary opinion, click here; all others, feel free to continue reading]. At the top of the list, for me, is support. Finding trustworthy and caring individuals with whom you can share your journey is imperative. This is true any time, but in times of transition, when many of us instinctually retreat, it is even more important to stay connected. For some, this takes the form of a spiritual director or a therapist, for others, a close friend or two will do the trick. As God’s self if relational, so too are we, created in God’s image, relational. Do not go it alone.

Another way to mitigate stress is to be kind to yourself. Cut yourself some slack. Is your temper a bit quicker than usual? Are you getting less done than is typical for you? Do you find yourself daydreaming or procrastinating more than you have in the past? Not to worry . . . all of this simply means you are human. Treat yourself to brief afternoon naps (a study released just last week says this can be prevent heart attacks). Indulge in a massage or a facial. Go for a long walk with no destination in mind – see where your feet take you. Enjoy a latte at a coffee shop and people-watch. I once saw a wonderful greeting card suggesting this as a way to relax: make yourself a cup of hot tea, put on a comfy pair of slippers, sit down in your favorite chair. . . and then, hurl the cup of tea at a wall!

This leads me to the last bit of advice I offer: keep a sense of humor! The only thing worse than transition is transition that is deadly serious. Find reasons to laugh each day. Watch a silly sitcom, search knock-knock jokes on line - or just click here - read the comic strips. . . anything, just laugh! Note, that I did not suggest that you just make light of the whole situation. No, be true to how you are feeling, share how you are feeling. In addition (not instead of), find time to laugh each day.

And remember, the very definition of transition precludes it from lasting forever – it is a temporary period of passage from one place to the next.

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