How to accept life changes that you didn't expect to happen.

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By Terry Arzt

My husband and I relocated from our home in Maryland to California two years ago. We wanted to live near our children and family who had already relocated to the area. We downsized and got rid of most of our furniture and belongings that had accumulated over the years. We said goodbye to our friends and all that was familiar to us.  We sold our home and moved. I thought everything would be amazing. It was going to be a new adventure.

Then reality set in, as it always does.

The move took much more out of me than I ever expected. Nothing and I mean nothing went according to plan. Within months I was discouraged and I was exhausted. Within in a year I was completely disheartened.

We all go through these setbacks and disappointments.  Life doesn’t always go the way we would have wanted or expected, but this experience has taught me that we make everything more difficult when we have preconceived notions and fixed ideas of how things should be.  

For those of you who are going through a major transition and are trying to recreate and reinvent your life, here are some hard learned lessons that I would like to share with you.

Accept wholeheartedly what is happening, even if you don’t like it.

Step into the experience without judgment and without resistance. Accept that life is unpredictable and we don’t have control over everything that happens. The moment I let it go of my expectations of how things should be, I felt a relief.  I felt less burdened and more open to what was there. I then was able to notice people, events and opportunities that were showing up in my life.

Don’t hang onto what isn’t working.

Learn to let go of old ideas, beliefs and ways of doing things. If it isn’t working, try a different approach. We often hang onto what is familiar because it is what we feel comfortable with and don’t know what else to do. When nothing is going as we want, we often persist and try harder doing the same thing in the same way.  When we accept that we are not going to get exactly what we want and stay open and try something else, we end up in a different place.  A better place.

Change exact expectations.

You may have an intention of creating something new in your life.  For example, you may have a goal of having a community of love and support, but you can’t decide exactly who it will come from, or how it will come to you.   Focus on the end results that you want, but in a general way.  Leave room for possibilities, the unknown. Be open to what life is offering and to what is unfolding.  I think that you will find yourself in a better more fulfilling place.

Get very clear about what is important

Not everything that we focus on is as important as we think it is.  Remove what’s not essential and stop doing those things that no longer bring you happiness or have a part of your life. By doing this you are creating a vacuum and will pull what is meaningful into your life. Live and create your life with intention.

Appreciate what you do have in your life that is working. 

Be thankful for your loving relationships, job, home or whatever is working. I found that when I focused and appreciated the love that I had in my life, I felt better in the present moment and I was more optimistic for my future.  I was finally able to create something new with confidence.

As long as you are living, something wonderful could happen at any moment. Life may have highs and lows that you never anticipated. But what lies ahead will be a life filled with joy, new adventures and new ways of thinking. I didn’t get what I thought I would, but what I got was a life that is gratifying and expansive.

My article was originally published in 

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