I have been going through a transition that I am almost on the other side of as I write this blog article. For a number of years I have dreamt of having my own ‘stand alone’ private practice as a Counsellor and Family Therapist. Today I am finally sitting in my own office in Geelong where I will now conduct Watersedge Counselling from. I am noticing that I still have a little adjusting to do. My new space does not feel entirely my own yet. It is like I need to settle in and establish a relationship with it. This is somewhat surprising to me because I anticipated that I would feel at home immediately. I am brought back to the knowledge that my transition is not quite complete yet.
It takes time to ‘let go’ of the old in order to embrace the new. I was reminded only recently as I sat with a couple who had transitioned to a new space in their relationship that to complete any transition, no matter how positive that process is, you must leave behind and let go of something that is familiar. To do so implies that there will be a grief process where you need to review what you have ‘let go’ of and why that was so, in order to move on.
As I have pondered my present transition experience, I have thought about some of the things you may need to let go of and the reasons why you must let go to be able to transition well.
Letting go of relationships evokes conflicting emotions
You might feel sadness, pain, anger, guilt, regret or you may feel freedom, relief and pleasure. It is more likely that you will feel a mixture of both positive and negative emotions as you separate from that relationship.
Sometimes the transition has been initiated by a relationship that has become toxic to either one or both of you. Even when the relationship has been a painful one, you will experience feelings of loss and devastation and wonder whether you did all you could to try and save it. Talking these feelings through to give you clarity will allow you to let go and make a strong transition.
Letting go can be about the need to survive
When you no longer have the physical, emotional and/or mental energy that you need to ‘hold on’ to a relationship, pursuit or interest you realise that you have to let go to have some energy to look after your own needs. This can be incredibly painful for everyone involved. Feelings of loss, rejection, failure and guilt can follow you unless you take the time to talk about them and find closure.
Letting go of dreams
Dreams of the way you had hoped things might have been but never eventuated have to be let go. Those hopes and dreams may have been necessary to survival however there comes a time when you have to let go to transition to a new place. Talking about your feelings, the broken promises, and broken dreams as well as the memories you cherish is important for you to be able to let go and move on.
Letting go can be initiated by circumstances
Circumstances where you have made the decision to relocate for work or family reasons, leaving the people you worked or socialised with, behind. When you are eager to move on or have had to do so quite suddenly, it is understandable that closure of relationships does not always happen. Sometimes you are just simply preoccupied with the business of relocating. Other times there are other emotions that you find too difficult to acknowledge to the people you leave behind. Understanding and acknowledging your experience and where possible, saying goodbye to significant people is important for a good transition.
Ritual is a great way to fully let go and transition strongly. Ritual gives closure to the experience and/or relationship you are letting go of. There is no one way of doing ritual because ritual is a very personal experience that holds unique meaning for the person who participates in it. You can create your own ritual, as long as it holds meaning and provides closure to your experience.
Whatever the nature and purpose of your transition, give attention to what you have let go of and how you acknowledge it. By doing this, you ensure that moving forward will be a smoother transition. If you would like to know more about how to navigate your present transition experience or need support as you experience your own transition contact Colleen on 0434 337 245 or go to www.watersedgecounselling.com to book an appointment.