Our life is not just one life but a multiple series of shorter life frames where the parameters of our life alter, and so we are different at various times in our life.
It is helpful not to see ourself as one defined person. We change, life changes, things can’t stay the same; it’s the natural order and flow of the Universe. Uncertainty is a constant, as are the everyday challenges to our life and our sense of self.
Clients describe having lost sight of who they are, as well as finding it hard to be who they are. Our beliefs and values change as we get older. Change, challenge and the resulting insecurity often forces us to acknowledge this and question who we are now. What matters now may not have then. What mattered then may not now. Being and knowing who we are in a moment of time is the root security in self that underpins a life that fluctuates. We are the source of our security, not the things around us.
Flux or disturbance in our environment, patterns of behaviour and thoughts means we can sometimes feel confusion, feel less sure about what we want and where our life might be headed, especially as we move from one stage of our life to another, which often requires a shift or a redefinition in our identity. For many, we are defined and define ourselves through our roles, responsibility, relationships and how we predominantly spend our time. A parent, a professional, a carer, a learner, a business person, a sports fanatic .. these occupations, passions and priorities can reflect our personal values and what we think our life purpose is, or who we think we are. But at some point in time our passions dwindle, our interests divert, we are needed less, our physical and mental energies change direction, children grow up, businesses are sold or fold… and then who are we? What do we do now?
We give things up, things are taken away from us, we make things happen and things happen to us; we make choices and things chose us. The question is who are we next? What do we do next?
We have the opportunity to start over. We can reinvent ourselves. We move house, leave jobs, make new friends; we change how we live, change our life and it changes around us. We create space, alter our horizon. We are challenged and we create challenge. Sometimes this change unsettles us as we leave elements of our lives and selves behind, without a clear sense of what the future may hold. The unknown is a common fear. What if? This unknown is also what creates excitement in life. What if? We need security, but we need curiosity to live.
We adjust. We move on. Sometimes this process takes a long time as we work through it and at other times it’s a gift of release and realisation, allowing us to invite a sense of freedom; newness, adventure with certainty that it’s right, we are ready. We need it. Whatever it may lead to. We always survive change. We are change. We are growth.
We can chose how to respond to the things we did not chose. How we respond to these changes often depends on who we are – how we see our self and how we are in our self – how accepting, resistant, resilient and fearful we are. How we let go, how we hold on. How willing we are to trust, be kind to ourself and be vulnerable at these times of transition. Our thoughts and our emotions will determine to what extent we can adjust and embrace.
Time is change, choice and courage. In endings and beginnings there is challenge and creativity. Potential, learning and exploration. Adventure.
It’s time right now. What next?