So many life experiences can occur that create a change of direction in our lives or a change in the way we think. In fact, those experiences may result in life-changing opportunities as well. How we respond to experiences can determine our future emotionally, physically, vocationally, relationally, spiritually, and financially. (I’ll talk more about this in a future post.)
In this post, we’ll look at
–our life experiences
–the positives and negatives of those events
–how to ease the impact of life experiences
Our Life Experiences
Last year held several major changes for me, some of which were losses. After a business partner’s death a few years ago, I decided that it was best to close the corporation that we had for many years because the direction in which I’m going now is different. Also, there was my mom’s transition to heaven after she reached 100 years of age. She had good health all of her life and we were blessed to have her sharing her wisdom and experiences with us for so long.
Then there was the retirement of a business owner where I have done some part-time work and the purchase of the business by someone else, which brought with it many changes in the work environment. These kinds of experiences require us to give thought about what we’re doing and why we’re doing it and to give thought to the outcomes as we make decisions regarding the situations.
On a smaller scale, my laptop slowed down significantly and started freezing up a lot. So… before it crashed completely, I chose to replace it and start the switch to the new one. Of course, all of that caused a slowdown in my writing and productivity, because it changed how my time was spent and brought with it temporary software inconveniences. However, it sure beats having the laptop crash completely and finding myself in an even bigger mess.
Positives and Negatives
What life experiences can change the direction of our lives or the way we think? When you think about it, nearly every week might bring with it some type of loss or something good that can change our lives in some way. Even if it is something positive, it can still alter our lives. For instance, the birth of a child in the family, whether it’s you or your daughter having a new baby can drastically re-arrange the lives of all of those involved. If you are the one giving birth, you definitely would have major life and schedule changes. If you’re the grandparent, you might want to be there to help your daughter and her family with the new addition. So you might find yourself rearranging your schedule to travel, provide support, and help with any other children, etc. While this is a positive experience, it’s still life-changing. In either case, you would probably have less sleep, miss work or need to work remotely, help the baby’s siblings, work around someone else’s schedule and much more.
Moving is another one of those experiences that can be positive but quite life-changing even if it’s only across town. When was the last time you moved? It’s exciting to be in a new home or to have a new job but the thoughts of the whole moving process and the upheaval it creates can be overwhelming. There’s so much to do to prepare to move and then the actual move itself can be quite an adventure, and can even be full of drama—depending on the movers.
Taking a new job can be a positive and exciting thing too, but at the same time, it can be stressful. Is it worth it? Sure! There may be new everything—people, responsibilities, bosses, and clients. It will take time to get settled in and figure out what bosses and clients expect of you, but eventually, it will all come together and you’ll be moving forward in the positive and exciting direction that you had expected. Or not. If it turns out to not be what you expected, then there will be more major decisions to make at some point. Ever had that happen when you’ve started a new job? It can take time and energy to do your best to make it work and to give it a fair chance before deciding to move on to another job. That too can be life-changing.
Another positive but life-changing event is getting married. Going from being single to being married is a big change that impacts all aspects of your life—friendships, spare time, finances, daily activities, and short-range and long-range plans, to name a few.
So as you have already experienced in life, there are the positives and the negatives of nearly every situation. While birth brings excitement and life, it also requires a lot of work and life modifications. Moving to a new location or taking a new job also takes some planning and preparation and also brings many changes. And if getting married, life can be full of changes with the addition of another person in your daily routine. By the same token, just as many impactful changes can occur as a result of one or more loved ones no longer being part of your daily routine. So how do we ease the impact of these kinds of life-changing opportunities?
How to Ease the Impact of Life Experiences
Whether we have life experiences that are positive or those that are negative like losses, there are some basic things we can do to get through them.
First, we can ask God for help. As we communicate with God and read the Bible, we are reminded of how He sees us and what He promises us. As we do this, we can more clearly see our situations from His perspective.
Second, we need to support one another. It’s nice to have friends who will walk with us on our life journeys and encourage us or lend a hand when it’s needed.
Third, be teachable. If we’re open to learning from individuals who are older and wiser and from everyday situations that arise, we will definitely gain wisdom in life. This also ties in with asking God for help. When we connect with God, He can strengthen us and give us the wisdom to navigate through the life experiences we’re facing.
Fourth, each life-changing event is an opportunity for growth. Beware of allowing any losses to drag you down into the black hole of depression or into bitterness or anger. And when exciting events occur in your life beware of losing touch with reality and losing balance in your life. For example, being so caught up in seeing the grandbaby that you neglect to handle other responsibilities. Use these life-changing experiences as opportunities for learning and growing.
Fifth, take time to plan things out but remain flexible knowing that your situation may take twists and turns in various directions. Allow for plan A, plan B, and plan C because the need might arise for it.
Sixth, sometimes when there are a lot of changes occurring, it’s best to keep some of your routines in place to maintain your sanity. For instance, if it’s therapeutic for you to go for a walk every day, then be sure that you keep doing that. Maybe you enjoy reading, working on a hobby, or cooking. By all means, keep doing those things so your whole life is not feeling totally upsidedown or out of control.
We’ve talked about life-changing experiences that can be positive or negative and how to ease the impact of them. Wherever you are on your life journey, remember to see your situations as opportunities for growth and for gaining wisdom. Thank you for reading my post. I would love to hear how you’ve used life-changing experiences to grow and learn. Please stop by the comment section below and share that with me. I’ll be sure to respond.
Your Rebuilding Lives Coach