Not too long after I quit my job, when I still had money, ha, I bought three books by Pema Chodron. One of them was Living Beautifully with Uncertainty and Change and that is where I discovered the quote above. I always loved it and I’ve kept it with me as a reminder to keep calm during times like now.
I think of the quote like this:
When we go through a life change there is a transition period from our old life to our new life. Just like when summer goes to winter or winter goes to summer, there are transition periods – fall/autumn and spring. When we go through life changes we tend to fight it. We rebel. We don’t accept it and go with the flow or adapt. But when it comes to seasonal changes, we adapt. We get warmer/heavier clothes or cooler/lighter clothes. So why don’t we do that when we go through life changes? They’re also a part of life. It’s probably because we don’t know what’s going to happen. With seasonal changes we kind of have an idea. Eh, everything will be fine. This is where having faith has helped me. Having faith in myself and in God. Having faith that whatever happens, God is with me and I can handle it. And also, just like seasonal changes, believe that everything will be fine.
Many fears come to the surface during life changes. I didn’t realize how many fears would be brought up by quitting my job. I think the biggest one was dealing with my self-worth and feeling rejected. I felt worthless without a job. A job apparently is what defined me. Who am I without one? Without money? I’m still me. I am not my job. I can still love without having money. If people can’t be around me because I don’t have a job, well maybe they should have never been around me in the first place. Even after my breakup, I felt worthless. Who am I without a partner? What is my purpose? I’m not worthy anymore. It’s a great time to see what negative beliefs we have about ourselves.
Another fear I still struggle with is not having security. I’m doing a lot better than when I first started. There’s this feeling that I can’t be calm or “live life” because I’m not secure. I’m not attached to something. What has helped me feel secure and grounded is meditation/prayer and developing a routine. I wrote a post on how I calm my anxiety that you can also check out and the root of anxiety which may be helpful. Some days are good and some days are not so good. I wake up and I can tell it’s going to be a rough day. No matter what I do, I cannot shake that anxiety/uncomfortable feeling off. On those days, I don’t fight it. If my body is feeling weird then I make that a chill day. I kind of go with the flow of how I’m feeling.
Something else I’ve discovered is to have compassion for myself. I’ve gotten a lot of criticism/judgement for quitting my job and also with my depression. Not everyone understands why I did what I did. That’s fine. Not everyone understands depression. I’ve had to learn to comfort myself. I’m not saying everyone has abandoned me. I have supportive people in my life and I’m grateful for them. But not everyone is going to be supportive and have that compassion you’re looking for, so you’ll have to learn to comfort yourself. And talk to God! You’re not alone. I’m not angry at people for not having compassion. They’re doing what they know and I’m doing what I know. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt. I’ve been in their position. And I didn’t have compassion either. It’s kind of like a full circle. I didn’t know better. A part of taking care of myself is limiting contact with people that consistently hurt me. And that brings another fear – being alone. Solitude.
I’ve learned to not see solitude as a bad thing. It’s how we hear ourselves. It’s how we hear God. If you want to know who you are, what you believe, and not be overloaded with other people’s beliefs or ways of being, you have to have solitude. See this as a time to be closer to yourself and closer to God. This is a season and it’s not going to last forever.
-Sonja Jackson, OpenHeartTin