Have you ever found yourself enjoying “where you are” so much that you ignore a big change that’s coming up in your life—even if it’s a change you welcome? Change brings all of us to a crossroads. Sometimes we’re ready for it and embrace it—and sometimes it’s upon us before we realize what’s happening. To make it even more mystifying, we may discover that we’re not quite ready to give up what we’ve grown accustomed to, even when we’re excited about what the future holds.
When you remember the big events in your life—like graduations, new jobs, moves, marriages, or children—did you experience a variety of feelings that were some combination of melancholy, reflection and excitement? That’s the paradox of recognizing that you’re losing something in order to gain something more.
Those transitions that can be the toughest to navigate occur when we become so wrapped up in “the way things are now” that we refuse to see—or prepare for—the inevitable change that’s coming. For example, the depth of the emotion we feel when our children go off to college, or when our life partner retires, can catch us off guard. We can take our emotions to an even deeper level if we feel guilty about any negative feelings we experience. After all, our kids leaving home is what we’ve worked toward for their whole lives, isn’t it? If we follow that logic, then we shouldn’t feel unhappy, scared, left out, or resentful… should we?
The reason we do is because our emotions are telling us to pay attention—and that’s what makes them perfect for us in every moment. Our emotions signal the chance for us to take a breath, so we can take stock of how we feel and what it means for us. That simple shift can make all the difference.
Once we realize that we can’t regain the past and we can’t stop the future, we can decide to look at the bigger picture and what we want right now. The next time you get caught up in the emotion of a life-changing event, why not take a moment to breathe and think about what you want—without emotion.
Even if you don’t have a clear answer, taking the time to think about your situation objectively opens up possibilities you might never have considered before. When you choose it—being at a crossroads can be one the most exciting times of your life…
…where a simple shift changes everything.