Dealing with Change: 5 Pain Relief Strategies for Healthy Relationships
Dealing with change is painful. Like a house that is undergoing renovations, rubble, dust and debris are created when we tear down walls, erected sometimes over a lifetime to protect our inner Self. Whether we initiate a life-altering event or the Universe delivers it, the effect reaches beyond us to everyone in our circles. Like the epicenter of an earthquake, those closest to you are often hardest hit.
The motorcycle isn’t the root issue. It’s merely symbolic of changes that can happen when the unique, wild nature within each of us seeks expression.
Here are five constructive approaches to managing a transition of any magnitude in those around us while navigating the change within ourselves.
- Understand that a change within you affects the dynamics of all our relationships. Change, even when it’s for the better creates fear and rattles those around you. A sense of loss can be very real when the person they knew as partner, spouse, sibling, colleague has new interests and new friendships. Everyone reacts differently, depending on if they are threatened or bolstered by what’s happening.
- Be truthful and open about what is happening. Manage expectations realistically. Sometimes even those of us affected need to wait for the dust to settle before we’re clear, but it’s better to give those around you a heads up rather than keeping it bottled up and catching them off-guard down the road.
- Act from love and compassion. No matter what the outcome, it abbreviates the transition and leaves everyone in a better place than had anger and resentment dominated. Respect the fundamental needs of friends and family, allowing them their own time to adapt.
- Be empathetic and understanding but resolute. It’s easy to get caught up in the moods of those around you. But just as we are being authentic in listening to our heart, so too must we respect the paths of others. Much as we would love to rescue them from pain, it’s not doing them any favours in the long run. Similarly, we don’t own the reactions of others so it serves no constructive purpose to get caught up in them.
- Recognize that not all relationships will survive. There’s a saying that people come into our lives for a reason, a season or a lifetime. We need and want healthy relationships with friends and family. Sometimes it’s necessary to let go and that is difficult – even with acquaintances.
Change is perpetual. It’s necessary to keep us in balance. It shakes us and wakens us up. Silencing the call of our heart to avoid pain in ourselves or others only defers it. Using the strategies above will ease the pain of change, strengthen us and pave the way for greater joy.