Life transitions often catch us by surprise. When they happen we can become unnerved and disoriented, especially if we thought we were doing all the right things in our lives. They make it difficult to explain why that dream job you got five years ago has become empty and lackluster. Or, perhaps, the ideal mate that you married has inexplicably become aloof and distant and you fear a divorce is in the offing. At times like these, we become so afraid of the changes we may have to make, that we often chose the road of denial as a way to sidestep the feelings of emptiness and dissatisfaction. But no amount of disavowing will allow you to escape the inevitable change that is coming into your life.
For as scary and painful as life transitions are, it is important that you know how to recognize them so that you can begin doing the work of growing through them. They are an invitation from your higher self to evolve into the person you were born to be. The following are seven signs that will help you determine whether or not you are on the cusp of such a disorienting dilemma in your life
1. Your life seems a fake. Let’s refer back to the dream job example I mentioned earlier. This is one of many examples in life of how, sometimes, one discovers that things that meant something to you before don’t seem to give you pleasure anymore. It is as though someone turned on the lights and you can finally see the reality of everything, your marriage, career, keeping up with the Joneses, your compulsive self-seeking, how you manipulate others and so on. You believe your life is a fake because you have lost your energy and focus to invest in it any further. You feel broken like Humpty Dumpty where “all the king’s horses and all the king’s men can’t put you back together again.”
2. You long to have meaning and purpose again. There was a time in your life when everything was working like you wanted it to. You knew you were born to do what you were doing. You were in the flow. Now, without warning, you are feeling like an unsuspecting storm has thrown your ship off course and you are wondering if you will find your way back again. You now are spending a lot of time longing for that sense of certainty you once had.
3. You want to be alone. Although you can’t explain it, you find being around people to be draining. Friendships you enjoyed don’t give you pleasure anymore. Even dear family members annoy you. You delay answering phone calls, texts, and emails until you absolutely have to. You desire contemplative times like going on a hike or walking the beach. Those close to you have started complaining about your aloofness and you feel guilty about it, but you long for solitude nonetheless.
4. You feel completely lost and alone. Although people who love and support you surround you, you feel apart from them. There is no talking about loneliness to anyone, for they wouldn’t understand. They see you as you were and wouldn’t appreciate why you are not happy. They tell you to snap out of it and don’t realize they aren’t helping. In spite of your best efforts to keep your chin up, you find no solace in family, friends or activities.
5. You want to flee. You started thinking that it would be better starting over somewhere where no one knows you and doesn’t expect anything from you. You even fantasize about leaving everything behind and sneaking off in the middle of the night to a simpler life somewhere far away. You have begun envying people whom you think live simple and uncomplicated lives and you wonder how it ever got this crazy for you.
6. You question your beliefs about God. It is not unusual during these times for the weight of your disappointment to cause you to blame a higher power for this situation. You have spent a lot of hours praying for this burden to be taken away from you. But every day you wake up to the same misery with no hope the situation will change. You are starting to wonder if the beliefs about God you were taught from the time you were a child are simply bullshit.
7. You are questioning the meaning of life. As fatigue begins to set in from all this internal processing, you begin thinking that perhaps life is just one damn thing after another. All this talk about being born with a purpose seems meaningless and you wonder if it would really matter anyway.
The real culprit behind the pain and disorientation you are feeling is your attachment to the way things were. It helps to see that this is wrong thinking for nothing stays the same. No matter what it is, everything wears out, ages and withers away. Change for all of us is inevitable. We were not meant to remain in the same stage of life forever, on the contrary, we were born to grow and learn from our experiences.
Life is more like a multi-act play. Sometimes an act is long and sometimes it is short. Occasionally your stage is set in a different location with a completely new cast of characters. Yet each act builds upon the one before and what you learn from one you take to the next.
I know this does not take away your pain and disillusionment, but take heart, know you have done nothing wrong, you are not the victim of your mistakes nor are you being punished for sins you committed. This is simply the normal process of your life where your higher self is calling upon you to evolve and you are beginning to awaken.You were born to learn from your experiences and grow. Life is not happening to you, it is working for you, so on with the play.
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