Even living in a world where the only certainty we have is that nothing is unchangeable and permanent, change is still something that frightens us, does not it?
When I say change, I’m not just referring to what happens outside of us: the job change, the fear of not fitting into a new school, the newly hired chief, the termination of the relationship of 10 years. I mean also, and principally, internal change, that change that will transform the former into something, I’m talking about the transition.
Change vs Transition
Every change that happens in our lives, whether given by us or the context in which we live, is accompanied by the transition. The transition is quite different from the change. While change is an external process, which stems from a single event and circumstance that often is not under our control, the transition happens internally, it takes more time to process and depends solely on ourselves.
Danaan Parry, author of “Warriors of the Heart” illustrates a powerful metaphor for the transition. It’s like the situation today where we lived was a trapeze, swinging at a constant speed. Ali you feel in control, you’re safe. But you look forward and see a new toolbar appearing. It is empty, but you know that the new trapeze bar has a place saved for you, your life, your future that is coming to find you. But to grab the new bar is necessary to completely get rid of the old bar and make the leap. The jump in nothing, no safety net, no insurance policy, no guarantees … what the mystics and religious faith call. It is the moment when the past is gone, but the future has not arrived yet, is the period that may last only a second, but it terrifies us. This is the transition.
Our fear is esborracharmos in the endless abyss that exists between the bars, or stay in this “non-place” between places. What frightens us, confuses us, frightens us is letting go of the bar and turning over the former something: ex-husband, ex-girlfriend, ex-employee, ex-boss. Guimarães Rosa could not be talking about the transition when we said that “fear is the extreme ignorance in very acute point,” but that quote fits perfectly for what we’re talking about.
Taking the leap
Suppose John decides to make a sudden career change. John is the manager of a multinational company. Today his name is John XPTO manager of a multinational company. It has a nice salary, company car and especially your job status confers. But John took up a hobby that he had long left behind, he returned to photograph. The photograph makes John reconnect to their essence, their true way of seeing the world. To resume this hobby, John recognized itself without talent he knew he had: empathy, sensitivity and aesthetic sense.
John knows that for him to jump, he needs to recognize the transition and all its implications. Let the new come means letting the old die and every death means mourning. Means no longer be the manager of John multinational XPTO means creating a new network of contacts, means being aware of all the emotional impact that this change will bring in their family and romantic relationships, means a change in lifestyle, in their routine means to deal with criticism from people who do not understand their movement, means that it will need to be sure your values and aligned internally.
It is precisely in the transition zone to grow as it is when you decide to look at themselves and work emotionally. These moments should be honored, even savored. Yes, with all the pain, all the fear and all the feelings of not being in control of our life and the transitions that can accompany such moments are more alive, more filled with growth, more passionate and more expansive in our lives. We came out of the darkness, we transform our fears, we gain personal mastery.
Living the transition and create awareness of the choices we make is the first and one of the most important steps to a happy change in our lives.
How Danaan Parry says: “if we throw ourselves into the void, maybe learn to fly.”
Photo credit: https://www.behance.net/martindepasquale