I’ve spent most of my adult life wishing I was somewhere else doing something else. When I was single, I wanted to be married; when I was married, I wanted to be single; when I worked in one career field, I wanted to work in another; when I lived in one place, I wanted to live somewhere different.
When my daughter was little, I wanted her to be older; and when she grew up, I wanted her to be little again. It seemed I was always searching to make some kind of a transition in my life to make it better, so I would be happier.
Life is full of transitions. Some of them happy and planned and others challenging and complete surprises. We are all transforming from one state-of-being to another at most times in our lives, and knowing what you want is important. However, equally as important is accepting where you are now instead of fighting against it.
The problems arise when we feel that who we are and what we are doing in the present moment is not enough; and therefore we are not enough. We end up struggling and forcing things, trying to make our lives better without feeling any joy in the present moment.
What a painful thing it is to be in the state of constantly wishing you were somewhere other than exactly where you are now. This is not to say having goals, dreams, and future plans are not valid; but feeling bad about where you are, comparing yourself to others who you perceive to be further along, and trying to force things to change before the time is right is a sure fire way to stop our lives from improving.
A great metaphor of human transitions is the metamorphosis of a caterpillar into a butterfly. The standard definition of Metamorphosis is: a transformation, as if by magic. I love the part of the definition stating the transformation occurs by magic… something we don’t understand or cannot make happen on our own.
In the caterpillar’s case, it encases itself in a web of spun silk until it hardens into a chrysalis. Inside that shell the caterpillar sheds its skin and literally disintegrates. The most amazing thing to me is within that liquid the caterpillar disintegrated into are particles called imago cells. Imago cells contain the exact DNA or “image” of the butterfly the caterpillar will become.
The caterpillar already contains the cells determining the shape, colors, and patterns of the butterfly it has the potential to become. It just has to do the work necessary to break open the shell; but not until it’s ready to fly.
Another fascinating aspect of metamorphosis is during the time of cocooning and transforming, if anyone or anything on the outside of the chrysalis forces it open… the butterfly will automatically die. It needs to go through this process of breaking open in its own time, not even knowing exactly how long it will take or exactly what it will look like in the end.
I have struggled with the concept of being OK where I was while doing the planning and work to make the transitions in my life happen. I found out the very hard way you can create a lot of changes in your life; but if you force them before you are ready or from a place of struggle and unhappiness, not appreciating or fully living in the present, you usually end up right back where you started in the first place.
It takes real work to turn your mind around when you want and you aren’t happy with your life. But I’ve seen miracles happen when I make a conscious choice to be thankful for the things I wish were different by getting happy with them just exactly as they are today.
You can still dream and take positive action steps, as long as it’s from a place of gratitude for every moment you can find something wonderful. I had a mentor who once described this as “The Great Quiet,” when you know you are going in the right direction but there is no longer a need to negatively push or pull.
So how do we do this?
1 Appreciate, Appreciate, & Appreciate
Recite what you are grateful for every morning when you wake up and every night before you go to sleep.
2 Show Up
Show up fully for your life, job, relationship, etc. exactly as it is now.
3 Plan, Set Goals, Research
Do the prep work that needs to be done before you start making changes.
4 Find Your Tribe
Surround yourself with like-minded people who know and understand your dreams or challenges and can reflect back to you what is possible.
Every stage of our life is meant to teach us what we need to learn in order to step up to the next level. If we focus on the blessings of the present, show up for our life and the people in it as it is now, while doing what we can to make changes towards the next life-phase, our greatest future will unfold in long-lasting ways… as if by magic.
Maureen Keyte is a Certified Personal Coach and Professional Writer with a passion for helping others through life transitions in order to become the best versions of themselves. Her writing has been published in several regional and national print and online publications. She is also a grant and marketing writer for non-profit agencies and businesses that focus on empowering women and young girls. Contact – Website – Facebook – LinkedIn – Pinterest – Twitter
Photo Credit – nuttakit