as quoted in Psychology Today…

Between You & Me…

Life is Messy

February 17, 2022

We all experience stressful periods. Times of major life transitions disrupt our equilibrium and ability to cope effectively given new situations and circumstances. We can experience anxious or depressed moods, changes in our daily habits, feel overwhelmed or on the verge of panic. We may no longer enjoy the things we used to, the activities, tasks and friends we once held dear. We may notice changes in our sleeping and eating habits and even engage in reckless and dangerous behavior. Life’s path is rarely a straight one. Our life story is seldom linear, what we expect, and it’s almost always complex. These are the times we need a helping hand.

The Only Constant In Life Is Change

Whether we want it or not, change happens every second of every day. There’s no way to stop it, prevent it or avoid it; we simply must accept it as a given and release the struggle. We don’t have to agree or even like it, but accept we must. To be human is to be fallible and yet still lovable. We all have complicated feelings and thoughts about transitions. Yet there’s no growth without pain. That’s just reality. Only the dead feel nothing.

Life’s Challenges

Difficulties arise with both expected and unexpected events during our lifetime. Transitions mark the end of one chapter and the beginning of another in the book of life.
We all have complicated feelings and thoughts about transitions. Yet there’s no growth without pain. That’s just reality. Only the dead feel nothing.


First job


Birth of a child

Empty nest


change is difficult, not changing is fatal.

Loss of a job


Sudden death of a loved one


Loss of social standing

New Chapters And Old Beliefs

Change may be inevitable but that doesn’t mean it’s comfortable. Transitions are life’s way of telling us it’s time to reexamine our present way of being. They force us to develop and grow as individuals. During these times we can feel off-balance. The ground beneath our feet rumbling like an earthquake. Sometimes we find only tiny cracks and small fissures. Other times we uncover gaping holes and seismic upheavals. And since transitions are both expected or unexpected, welcomed or unwelcomed, chosen or imposed, sudden or gradual, things can become quite messy. We feel the landscape shifting especially during these times. They challenge us with their newness of routine, structure, emotions and ideas. We never charted this territory before so it feels scary and intimidating, overwhelming even at times. So we resist. Fear and uncertainty rule our thoughts. The unknown is frightening. The natural tendency is to resist changes in our routines. We can feel challenged by removing what is familiar. We may feel deluged, disillusioned, or angry. We may blame ourselves for situations that are beyond our control. At times our expectations entrap us. The ”shoulds” and “musts,” the demands we tell ourselves or place on those around us. Other times we allow our thoughts and feelings to create havoc in our minds dictating such thoughts as truths when they’re not reality at all. Where are the facts for these thoughts?

Life is painful, life is stressful, life is glorious.

With transitions come adjustment and sometimes this means acclimating to new roles and situations that may present challenges to our well-honed beliefs–how we see ourselves and others around us and how we experience both internal and external factors. Things like anxiety, depression, PTSD and other mood disorders often present themselves during these times. Self-discovery is the personal process of understanding our core beliefs, recognizing their impact and then adapting some of the unhealthy ones in order to create a rich and meaningful life. What matters to you deep in your heart? Who’s the person you strive to be? Are your thoughts and behaviors getting in the way? If that’s the case it’s time to replace them with healthier cognitions which will lead to more functional and constructive actions to reach those goals.

Despite our hopes and expectations for an easy and peaceful existence the fact remains that we’re all challenged at various times in our lives. The key is to be open and accepting, a willingness of sorts, allowing room for any discomfort during these moments in time. If we choose to fight these changes the road will most likely be paved with hardships, frustrations and self-doubt.


Which way will you handle them?

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