For many of my friends, 2016 seems to be a year of transformation. Now that can probably be said for most years, however this year seems to be bringing out all of the BIG life moments for so many in my tribe. Divorce, moving, aging or dying parents, job loss - all coming in waves across many my age.
When this happens, many people like to bring up the positive affirmations "Change is good!" "When a door closes, another one opens!" "Look for the silver lining!" and while all of those hold some kernels of truth, they are far from telling the entire story. Simply put, sometimes change sucks. It can be overwhelming and profound and just plain shitty.
I am a firm believer in the power of positive thinking, however I am equally as passionate about the hidden strength in the momentary wallow. When those feelings of despair, grief, anger and frustration come; and they will; allow them their time and space. Put your rubber boots on and wallow in them. Scream to the wind, throw pillows in your empty room, curl up in the fetal position on your closet floor - HONOUR the pain. There is however a very important caveat to mention here.
Do not get stuck in the wallow.
Don't pitch a tent and live there or wear it like a badge of honour. Let the pain come and allow yourself time to truly feel it; then thank it and let it pass.
It seems to me that too many of us spend far too much time afraid of the depths that we can go; and I know that is can be scary. However if you keep trying to minimize the experience instead of fully living it, it won't pass simply because you are not done. You need to be so terribly sad that when bliss and joy come back, you are fully present.
There is no badge, no "win" for always walking around with a smile, particularly when it isn't heartfelt. Be where you need to be at this moment; with your sights set and a deep sense of knowing that you are going somewhere better.
And then maybe, just maybe, someday soon you will look back at the journey and be so very grateful that was your path. Then you can take off your rubber boots and put them away until the next time. You made it.