It’s been a while since I’ve put my thoughts on this site because I’ve been going through transition, maybe more than one and sometimes simultaneously. Without using a Webster’s Dictionary which I don’t have at this time, transition is the process of moving from one “place to another” or one state of being to another state of being. Transition can be internal and external, and we experience it often, even when we’re not aware. The elementary word or synonym for transition is “change”, but I didn’t want to talk elementary dear Watson. J
While walking home from the train station recently one evening, I noticed that the sidewalk was covered with wet leaves and I had to walk carefully so as not to slip and fall. Yet I took the time to glance upward at the trees to see that many of them had only NOT dropped their leaves, but some of the leaves were still green, and to top it all off, it had begun to snow. As I continued my journey homeward I came out of the forest of leaves onto dry and cleaner sidewalks, so I looked up and saw that the surrounding trees were bare. After the trees had dropped all their leaves the street cleaners came and cleared them away. And this thought came to me: “transition can sometimes be messy.”
I want to say we all “love” change, but that’s just not so. First of all it depends on what is being changed – are we being promoted or demoted? Are we receiving a raise or a salary cut? Are we mourning the death of a loved one or celebrating the birth of a new one? Did we just pay off our house note or has our home been repossessed? You see what I mean about change? We don’t all love change and we don’t love all changes. LOL! And I don’t think we’re supposed to, but because going through transition is unavoidable as a living, breathing, human being, we must decide that we will learn to go and grow with the flow, and that we will bend and not break when strong, and sometimes adverse winds blow.
Maybe another way to say it is we all want the positive end result of a period of transition, but the process itself, the getting there, the voyage, the transformation, etc. we would rather do without. Are we there yet? But it is in the voyage that we get to see things we would never see, about ourselves, about others, about our environment, etc. There is education in transition if we are willing, and attentive students. As I walked through those leaves I had the thought which came through a conversation I had with an American brother a few weeks ago. I thought to myself “be careful not only how you walk, but WHERE you walk. Try to walk only on the flat leaves and not the high ones or bumpy ones because you don’t know what’s underneath them.” Oooh yuck!!
My brother-friend quoted a ridiculous but true statistic of people in France who go to the doctor because they slip and fall on dog chips which owners fail to remove out of the way. This thought just made me cringe not only because of the fractures and broken bones and possible concussions, but those who landed in the poop and not just slipped and fell because of it. What a gruesome thought I know, but for those people it is a reality and has taken them through changes they did not plan. Can you imagine someone’s life being totally changed because of an unnecessary fall and maybe they are a dancer, or skater, or an athlete? Or even an elderly person who was doing just fine and then to have their last years of life turned completely upside down? Their frame of mind, how they deal with adversities will determine how they move from that poopy situation. I know, not all change is negative and thank God so let’s move on from here to a cleaner spot. J
I have found that it’s not enough to know I must change, but I must have a new frame of reference, otherwise transitioning will not only be like a boat without a compass, but a captain asking the question “where are we going anyway?” How can a house be built without a blueprint, or anything else for that matter? How can I go from here to there when I don’t know where “there” is? And once I get “there” what will I do? Am I prepared? Change just for the sake of change is just as bad as remaining stagnant. Movement without direction can be just as bad as no movement at all. Transitions can be messy, but they should have some direction.
Even in this blog message I don’t feel like I’m transitioning very well from one thought to the other because sometimes life is like that. Transitions aren’t always smooth and they don’t always make sense to our audiences, let alone to ourselves, the ones going through it. LOL!! Anyhoooo, but we keep on living and keep on learning and it is in the living and learning that we see and hear what we need to see and hear to make the necessary changes in our lives. Maybe I’m speaking elementary after all and you’ve graduated from this level, but I find that no matter how many years of school I’ve completed, I still had to use my basic ABC’s to create words and sentences. J
So what have I learned through all the transitions I’ve experienced in this year alone? And there have been so many, especially internally. First of all, successful transitions for me came because I wanted to change, because I knew I needed to change something somewhere in my life. This knowledge gave me the fuel and engine I needed to press through the challenges and negatives I experienced, but wasn’t warned about, as I traversed through the process of changing. We ask the question sometimes, “how bad do you want it?” There is something I want very much, but Holy Spirit has revealed to me I must change inside – mindsets, beliefs, defense mechanisms, etc. No matter how rocky the transition it is always successful when it brings us to the “other side”. Second, even though many times it felt like I was stuck, someone would remind me that I was just “passing through”, like going through a tunnel. It may be long and narrow and dark, but you cannot stay in there. You must keep moving until you exit the other end. Transition is like a tunnel – a thru-way. J But sometimes we feel like we’re stuck because it seems to take so long, or we experience the discomfort of a narrow bottle neck and we cannot squeeze through – forward or backward. Hmmm, transition can be an uncomfortable place, and I believe it is designed to be that way so we will keep moving and won’t build houses and such, on a thru-way. Third, I had a hope deep inside of a “different life”, something new, something I’ve never done, but only dreamed of doing. This “dream” would also feed my engine for moving forward with the internal transitioning of my soul for the external changes that could only be performed by the “new” me. Transition can be a place of hope and new vision, even in the dark. Fourth, no matter how transition comes or how it starts, on purpose or by “accident”, it is always for a reason. The challenge is to find out what the reason is and how to change to rise to the occasion. Hmmmm again, transition can be challenging, but challenges are the spice and spices of life. J I like cinnamon best myself.
I know that on the other side of this night is another day which holds events I’m prepared for, and incidents I won’t expect to encounter. All I can pray is for the joy, peace, serenity, tranquility and wisdom of how to deal with the unexpected challenges of life which may direct my life into another necessary transition. I pray for the temerity and dexterity to bend and not break, to bounce back stronger and still with a heart of love for myself and for others. I pray that my faith won’t fail me and that I won’t give up just because I cannot see my way, or I have no idea which way to take. I pray that I will have the patience to wait for the still small voice of the Lord to guide me and say “walk this way”. I pray that I will come through trusting God more than when I first entered the tunnel. I pray that I will lay me down and sleep in peace for I know my soul God doth keep. If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take. Transition can be heavenly.