We all experience transitions in our lives when we need to ‘let go’ and ‘move on’. This is not an easy thing to do. Sometimes the transition is created from own decision, for example, the decision to change jobs. Other times, it arrives through the decision of another. Whatever the circumstance, we are likely to experience a mix of emotions. These emotions will typically range from excitement, concern, denial to acceptance.
I was speaking with Jenny on Sunday morning who, in 3 week’s time, will return to Australia having lived here in the UK for 7 years. During this time, Jenny has made some great friends, enjoyed a fulfilling job and at the same time has experienced tragic loss.
I asked her how she was feeling about returning. She replied ‘with mixed emotions’ in a somewhat sombre tone. Whilst Jenny is looking forward to returning to her own house, her grown up children and her 6 brothers and sisters, she is also sad about leaving her son and family in the UK, her friends and community she feels so much a part of here. Jenny has been a huge contribution to our church, helping in the Sunday School, making wall hangings for the church and actively supporting the home groups.
Listening to Jenny reminded me of Viktor Frankl’s ‘Man’s Search for Meaning’ in which he describes the fact that once we have created and used an opportunity, we safely deposit it in our past. He continues by suggesting that ‘in the past, nothing is irretrievably lost, but rather, on the contrary, everything is irrevocably stored and treasured.’ Some people overlook this fact and only see remnants of the past and overlook and forget ‘the full granaries of the past into which they have bought the harvest of their lives; the deeds done, the loves loved, and last by not least the sufferings they have gone through with courage and dignity’.
I shared this learning from Viktor Frankl with Jenny and immediately I noticed her shift in her seat, her eye’s glistened and a huge smile appear. We talked about her time here and the wonderful friends she had made and experiences she had enjoyed and that they will never be forgotten, rather they will be treasured.
In my work as a coach, my aim is help others move forward, create opportunities and develop themselves along the way. In my interaction with Jenny, I noticed that in celebrating the past, it freed her up to look forward to the next chapter of her life.
It is natural to experience a mix of emotions as we move through a transition and in order to prepare ourselves for the next chapter, whatever that might be, remember all that you have achieved and learned from your past experiences and how these can help inform you as move forward. There will be new experiences ahead, challenges to rise to, problems to solve and opportunities to create all in ways you are yet to discover. You will want to generate new ideas, solutions and possibilities and, at the same time, capitalise on what you have learned about yourself along the way.
If you are in transition, perhaps stepping into a new role, and looking for some support to help you move forward and prepare, please get in touch and I will be happy to have a conversation to see how I might help you.