“The human was not designed for instantaneous change,” writes Rabbi Daniel Lapin in Thou Shall Prosper. “Many people in the morning move from bedroom repose to racing for the train to work within less than half an hour. That is plainly not healthful.”
In the Jewish culture, newly married couples are given a whole week to settle into their new apartment and life together. They are given small parties hosted by family and friends, and encouraged to take time to adjust to this major change in their lives.
It’s a similar process when a loved one dies: a whole week of mourning. “Jewish tradition believes that the human organism was not constructed to go safely from, say, a father’s funeral directly to a shopping mall or a corporate staff meeting,” writes the rabbi. “The process is seen to take require days; and so, following the funeral, Jewish mourners commence a full week of stay-at-home recovery.”
Dealing with change isn’t just about getting married or grieving a loss…
How I deal with change
I was about 11 years old when I went to my first foster home. The social worker took me and my sister there, and encouraged us to sit and chat with her and the foster mom in the living room. The plan was to have the usual “get to know you” discussion, maybe even with cookies.
But I couldn’t do it. They had already given us a house tour and showed me where my room was, and I asked if I could stay there for awhile. I needed to sit with this huge change in my life – it was very unexpected and scary! I could hear my younger sister in the living room, talking and laughing. It was surreal to me, and I couldn’t just pretend everything was normal.
It took me more than 20 years to realize that this didn’t make me weird or crazy. It simply takes me time to adjust to change. I need to be alone when something huge happens in my life; I need time to think and pray, to adjust and regroup.
How do you deal with change?
Maybe you’re like me, and you need time alone to process. Maybe you’re like my sister, and you adjust to change better if you’re with others.
There is no right or wrong way to adjust to major life changes. But if you’re aware of how you deal with change, you’ll heal more readily and bounce back faster.
Many readers ask me for advice (which I don’t give – and I explain why in 7 Ways to Listen to the Still Small Voice). Sometimes they say, “My boyfriend and I broke up four days ago, and I can’t get over it! Help me, what do I do?”
When something life-changing happens, give yourself time to adjust. Take time to mull it over, think about how it affects your life, and write about it in your journal.
One simple way to honor the life-changing events and decisions in your life is to allow yourself to adjust slowly. Don’t push yourself to grieve a death, recover from a breakup, or find a new job right away. Take your time. Allow your mind, body, and soul time to regroup and heal.
On Blossom this week
Letting go of the past and making room for fresh growth, fresh life, fresh Blossoms was my focus this and last week.
- How to Forget Someone – A Lesson in Deadheading (Imagine)
- What “Letting Go of Someone You Love” Means (Dare)
- How to Stop Obsessing About What Happened (Prepare)
- 7 Ways to Listen to the Still Small Voice (Leap and Flourish!)
I welcome your thoughts on any of these blog posts – or on flourishing after a life-changing event in your life.
A break for Blossom
I’m going on my first missions trip! I’m leaving for Haiti soon, and will be away for three weeks. Keep me in your thoughts and prayers; I’ll send my next newsletter when I return in mid-February. :-)