Thursday, August 17, 2006

In Addition...

In addition to the last week's post, I'd like to submit the following:

Change is hard. You may find that a rather obvious statement, but don't discount it's truth.

Case in point: my daughter goes to college tomorrow. She will be staying in a dorm room on a campus some 300 miles away. This is a change I've been watching approach for 18 years. I've prepared the best I can, am entirely "ready" for it, yet it is hard. And this pain I feel, the emotions that I wrestle with, are precisely what I'm talking about. That's what makes change hard.

Certainly we are all adaptable enough to function in different situations, but the way we deal with how we are feeling about it will make all the difference. Whether your personality is that of a thinker or a feeler, we all have emotions. And many times it's those emotions that cause us to act certain ways. If we don't like someone or something, generally we stay away from that, conversely those things that make us feel good get our attention and time. Emotions are powerful motivators for human kind.

The point I'm trying to make today is that it's okay to feel bad during change in your life, I happen to know it won't last. Unless you ignore how you're feeling. Dismissed feelings tend to leak out and demand attention at the most inopportune times. The most benign moments become times of drama because of unresolved issues, related or not. The key is to give those feelings a voice, find a way to express how you feel about the change. It may be to your spouse, a close friend or professional counselor.

A word of warning here: it won't stop the change, but it will help you move with it. I would never consider stopping my daughter from leaving home to go to college just to make myself feel better, yet that's exactly how some of us try to deal with change in our lives - "If I can stop it, I feel better." Here's another - "I'll pretend it's not happening and convince everyone, including myself, that everything's fine." Unfortunately those common responses are both unhealthy and unrealistic.

So today, I'll continue to let my daughter know how much I love her and how much I'll miss her when she's gone. I'll shed a tear as I think about not being able to hug her when I want and "fix" things for her......and it will be okay. What about you? How are you dealing with the change in your life?



At 4:17 PM, Blogger Jennifer Coomer said...

I cannot belive she's old enough to start college!!!! It seems like "just yesterday" she was turning 11.


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