Sometimes, we’re the life changers, but sometimes, life changes us. Here’s what to do when life has thrown you for a loop and you’re ready to get on with a “new normal.”
It’s no surprise that many of us are feeling the pain of life change.
I was just telling a friend recently when discussing the last few years, “I feel like there was 2019, everything before 2019, and everything after 2019.”
Nothing really has felt the same since the C word ravaged our world, right?
And maybe, like me, you were going through additional changes, too, such as losing your faith, or watching your children graduation, or changing your job.
Maybe you lost a friend, spouse, loved one, or even a favorite pet.
Maybe you were simply traumatized from all that 2020-2021 brought to the life-table.
Whatever the case, getting back to normal seems harder when you’ve been through major life change.
Here are 5 ways to feel like yourself again after a major life change:
- Get over your God-complex
- Stop thinking about the past
- Give up on fear
- Stop negativity in its tracks
- Measure your words
1. Get over your God-complex.
The truth is, we want to be in control, don’t we? We want to know what’s ahead, how we will get there, and exactly how it will all work out.
But the truth is, we have control over very little. According to Science.org, a recent study of the human brain led many scientists to conclude that humans really only feel like we have free will.
“The ability to decide and take action is fundamental to who a person is and how our society works,” he says. “For a long time, that was thought to be inaccessible to neuroscience. … This study is a good example that shows neuroscience is beginning to tackle how we act.”How much control do you really have over your actions? These brain regions provide clues, Michael Price
If we accept how truly little we control, we can practice more forgiveness towards self and others. And forgiveness brings peace and calm.
2. Stop thinking about the past.
Oprah Winfrey writes in an article about letting go of the past…
That’s reality for so many people. Maybe you’re one of them, holding on to what happened or what you think should have happened.
But I ask you: For what purpose? To feel right? Righteous? Justified? Validated?
Proving I was right used to be a major character flaw. I had to do some conscious work to change it.
A single question got me started: Do you want to be right, or do you want peace? Those 11 words released me years ago and put me on the path to freedom.What Oprah Knows for Sure about Letting Go
Humans waste an inordinate amount of time living outside of the present. If we could learn to have a present-focused mindset, being grateful and content for even just the breath we have that very moment, life would be more peaceful instantly.
3. Give up on fear.
I will never forget a journal entry I wrote in the midst of the pandemic. In it, I wrote.
Hearing about death so often leaves me realizing that I am completely unable to control my own. So where does that leave me? Oddly, it leaves me losing fear. Fear, I see now, is an illusion. There is no point in being afraid of anything. We are all going to die, so we might as well live...
Once we have gotten over our God-complex (see #1) living with a sense of peace about our place in the world helps us toss out the fear of losing control we’ve been hanging onto for so long. Talk about freedom!
4. Stop negativity in its tracks.
Your thoughts will always find a way to become true. Once a thought enters, you much actively choose to hang onto it or let go. Should you hang onto it, your brain will go into overdrive making it happen.
What does this tell us? That our brain desires to do what we want it to. So, learning to control our thoughts is the single most important way to bring about change.
If you’ve been through a major life change, chances are your thoughts are traumatic. Meditating is one of the best practices to bring peace.
I often do a salt and light meditation. Salt has healing powers, and Christ followers are called to be salt and light. So I bring the two together with my grandmother’s favorite Rosary, and although I don’t say the Rosary, just holding it reminds me of my Savior and all He did and continues to do for me.
5. Measure your words.
Admittedly, this is by far the hardest of the five for me to do. When I am hurt and have been through trauma, I do not internalize it. Instead, I overshare. I want everyone to hear me and know how I feel. I want to tell them my opinion on everything because I want to be heard!
This stems from having an orphan spirit, a condition I received in childhood from constantly being out of control of what was happening around me and not heard when I was crying out for help.
Enlivenpublishing.com has a great resource on signs you have an orphan spirit. They define orphan spirit as…
The ‘orphan spirit’ refers to a spiritual condition in which some Christians profess outwardly to know God as Father, but experience an internal contradiction to that belief.4 symptoms of the orphan spirit in church life, Helen Calder
I have learned that when I want to be heard, it’s not a sin. I am “crying out” for help, and that’s okay. But I must be careful with my speech because I might be unknowingly harming others by dumping my burdens all over them. Therefore, I must measure my words. When I’m quiet, I am wise.
Getting back to “normal” is hard when there has been a major life change.
But keeping these five actions in mind will help you in your journey to feeling safe once again.
See you soon,