Originally posted 5/28/2013
Many of us have had, or have known, children graduating from college. There was so much joy through all those years of seeing our children grow up, and now we suddenly watch them step into their own new post-college worlds. It is amazing to see the transformation they have all gone through and to think about the new life they have in front of them!
Coincidentally (or perhaps not), I came across a video from Marie Forleo about Feeling Lost that really got my attention. “Lost” was, in a way, how I was feeling about graduation. Throughout the happiness, there was also something going on that was so unexpected – I was off balance, knowing that we are entering into another transition, another new world.
It is so hard letting our children go. Not that we ever fully do “let them go,” but the pomp and circumstance of the commencement” ceremony really brings home that this is a significant, life-changing event.
Now I am faced with how to enjoy this next phase of our family’s journey. I imagine there are many of you in this same situation – be it high school or college graduation, becoming grandmothers, suddenly becoming caretakers, taking early retirement, or some other life-changing event — it seems that so many of us are in a great upheaval and transition.
So I am looking back to what helped me through my past great challenges in life, and I offer you some of the most important lessons that I learned on not only how to cope, but to also grow and understand that life’s changes can also bring much joy:
1. Understand and accept that you cannot control every outcome. About 18 months ago, while going through a personal crisis, David Ji (then with the Chopra Center advised me to focus on what I couldcontrol. What a relief to know I wasn’t in control of everything and could just let some things go!
2. Accept help from others. There are real life “angels” all around, ready to give you just what you need at the moment. Get outside of your feelings and be open to help, which is in front of you. As my cousin always says, “Accept graciously.”
3. Be grateful. Accept and know inside that the change you are going through is all for a reason, and there are transformative life lessons to be learned. Also consider that your challenges and transitions are not only about what is happening to you but that, somehow, others would benefit from your experience as well.
4. Be Curious. Ask yourself “I wonder what will happen if…?”
Be childlike in your curiosity; it will move you to places of joy if you allow it.
When you feel lost in these times of transition and upheaval, remember these 4 lessons, and you will already be well on your way to being found.