If you've been watching MTV's Jersey Shore, maybe you can understand how a reasonably intelligent Italian-American woman from New Jersey, who lives within miles of the shooting location, might want to pretend to be someone else for a while. The fear of being lumped with characters like Snooki, whose "ultimate goal is to move to Jersey and find a nice juiced, hot, tan guy," is a great motivator for change.
Recently, during a weekly therapy session, my doc and I were doing our thing, talkin' 'bout boys, my frustration with the ones I have met, and my recent relapse into dreaming about my ex; I was telling her that sometimes, despite being a relatively solitary person who enjoys time alone, I get overwhelmed with loneliness. I miss something I don't have anymore, that feeling of deep companionship.
It’s a simple fact that we want the things in our lives to remain familiar and stable. We strive to create routine in our lives, and make our world as predictable as possible. Routine and predictability make us feel safe, secure and in control. Because of our desire for predictability, we can often be resistant to change. The status quo feels more comfortable and we’re reluctant to stretch ourselves, try new things and take risks. Oddly, even though we're so adverse to change, we're constantly in a state of change. Our bodies are changing, technology forces us to change, the people around us are changing, and our life circumstances are constantly changing. Even the most courageous among us can feel some hesitancy at embracing a new identity or accepting a new challenge in our lives, especially if we’re uncertain of how well we’ll survive or successfully navigate the change. After all, no one wants to fail.
Why is letting go so difficult for us? We want to let go but can find it frustrating that some part of us is still holding on to what ‘used to be’. Change can feel like we’re losing something because we are so comfortable and familiar with our current life, even if our present circumstances are not serving us well. When transitioning into a new phase of life, there has to be an ending. For an ending to happen and a beginning to occur, we have to let go. It creates feelings of uncertainty and fear, and we find ourselves thinking “Am I making the right decision?”, “Will I be better off, or worse?”, or “Do I have the strength to do this?” These questions are a natural part of the process.
With change comes loss, even if the change is good. And loss must be grieved so you can leave the "old" behind and move into the "new" in a healthy way. Most grief professionals agree that the grieving process consists of five stages that must be addressed in order to move on. The five stages are: * Denial – Not accepting that it’s really happening. * Bargaining – Believing that with negotiation or adjustment it can go back to the way it used to be. * Anger – Feeling that the situation is “unfair” * Sadness – Feeling lost, alone, or vulnerable. * Acceptance – Realizing that things will not go back to the way they were, and it's time to move on. When grieving a loss, you may move from one stage to the next and then back again. This is a normal part of the process. So when experiencing a change, don't resist the grieving process. Although at first it may not feel like grief is good, it does help you to close one chapter of your life so you can move on to the next.
Have you ever had a spur-of-the-moment urge to do something like clean out a closet, move your living room furniture around or paint a room? Have you noticed that when you’re operating from a spontaneous urge there’s a sense of effortlessness and happiness in what you’re doing? It's amazing isn't it? Normally this activity feels like a chore if it’s motivated from a place of “I have to”, or “I should”. Any action or activity feels so much better when we want to do it, doesn’t it? So, how can we have more of these inspired actions? It's very interesting that as you spend time imagining, visioning and planning whatever it is you want to create, you’ll experience more and more of these spontaneous urges to take action towards it. The dream or vision holds the key.
We all experience change whether we want to or not. Regardless of our age or life experience, change is difficult. It’s not that we don’t like change or want it, it’s that we would prefer for it to happen more easily and on our terms. Unfortunately, change often requires us to give up what’s old and familiar in order for something new and better to take its place. Just like it’s hard to throw away that favorite shirt or those comfy old shoes, we somehow manage to find new shirts and shoes to take their place. It’s a strange paradigm. On the one hand, we have this desire to build our lives around something secure, familiar and lasting. And on the other hand, we’re forever being forced to make life changes that keep us from becoming stagnant. Giving up what previously defined our lives can be painful, but there is a new anticipation and maybe even excitement about building a new life or new identity.
Feeling strong and week on and off like this for a few days now, it's been emotionally draining with up's and down's, at times I think it would be easier for us to get back together so all the pain would just go away, but that would be pointless and neither of us would get anything more out of it that we allready have. Both of us had moments of weakness and denile, we both made the phone calls to eachother and did the texing basing our emotions on WHAT IF and MISSING EACHOTHER. Bouncing in and out of the reality of why we broke up has been going on for the past few days. Sometimes thinking it can work, and then knowing it absolutly will not work. Going over this in my head back and forth for days has been driving me crazy. I've been told this is normal.
"I feel like in the time that I've been laid off, I've become a family man," he continued as I listened while stuffing my mouth with sustenance from the hen. "Maybe I've been growing that way anyway, but being laid off has given me another level of awareness. It makes me want to be somewhere where you can hear the roosters crow—like back in Puerto Rico."
We've written a lot about how marriage is a financial arrangement, that romance eventually fizzle, and how having kids can make your once-bottomless libido as dry as an unused diaper. So it would seem to be common knowledge that passion, while important in the beginning of a relationship, isn't what makes a marriage work. But according to a new study from researchers at the University of Iowa, since the 1930s traits like dependability and stability have become fallen in importance, while lust and love have risen. Have Hollywood myths and the fetishization of romance messed up our ideas about what we should look for in a mate?
YourTango's open marriage blogger, Jenny Block, thanks her readers for giving her a forum to write about open marriage. Jenny writes that, "We are a part of change. Changing the way we think about love. Changing the way we think about marriage. Changing the way we look at one another. It has been a difficult year—or several years even—for most of us. Change is needed in so many realms. The world of love and relationships deserves no less attention."