Change is a constant in our lives. It happens on many levels and in many ways. The passage of years in itself changes us physically, mentally and emotionally. The people around us, by choice or habit or situation, change us. The family we have – biological and chosen – change us. The jobs or professions, the organizations we align ourselves with and the places we live all impact us.
We make choices and decisions because of our situations, and those choices and decisions move our lives in different directions and change our futures. Many times, we look back and see losses that precipitated our decisions – and losses that resulted from those same decisions.
As we move into and live in our 3rd Act, it can be helpful to look back at some of the major changes we made and the role of loss in those changes. Then we can look at closure if it is needed in those situations, and examine what we learned in the process. This is not to ignore the gains and the positive things that initiated the change, or those that resulted from the change. Instead, the purpose is to see if there are “holes in our soul” from these losses, bring closure to them, and to see what we can learn.
Here are 5 steps to take that will provide some insight as you examine a situation:
1) What was the loss that pushed you toward a decision or sped up implementation of a decision?
2) Describe that loss in terms of its impact on your emotions, self esteem, and sense of accomplishment.
3) Do you still have feelings about that loss?
4) What did you learn from the loss and from your decision based on or hastened by it?
5) From this distance, what conclusions would you draw about how you handled it and what the eventual outcome has been?
Think of one situation in your life where loss was involved – either it pushed you toward a decision or it caused you to move more quickly to do something you had already intended to do.
Walk through the 5 steps with that situation in mind. Write down your responses and thoughts. What insights come to you? Consider doing this with other situations that come to mind.
I hope you will give this tool a try as you move into the next part of life. Your comments, as always, are most welcome.