“We’re all destined to live through three to five life-altering transitions in our lifetime (life quakes). They will drain the meaning from your existence, drying up the life story of how you used to define yourself.”Bruce Feiler, Life Is In the Transitions
Your life is like a novel, a masterpiece written over the course of your lifetime. It has chapters, sections, and some amazing and beautiful illustrations. There are also some cliffhangers and plot twists, and hopefully a reinvention for the hero of your story, which is you.
When your life drastically changes, so does your story. Learning how to find and reconnect with the narrative of your life, how to edit and revise your story is how you survive those life transitions and emerge transformed and renewed.
You can keep the narrative of your life before loss, with its up’s and down’s. You may treasure it and wrap it around you like a warm blanket on a chilly evening. Those memories insulate and protect you until you’re strong enough to imagine otherwise.
Then one day, you may decide to take the first giant step, that leap of faith. Maybe the blanket isn’t serving you any longer. Maybe it’s time to ask yourself some new questions, to begin the chapter in your masterpiece called “transitions.”
- What could my new life after loss look like?
- What could lI do to honor the life we had together?
- Is there a forgotten piece of me that I might want to revive?
- What would make my heart feel at peace?
- What does the next chapter look like?
- What would I like it to look like?
I remembered a long forgotten dream of traveling, of speaking, and of encouraging others. I tried my hand at gardening (not so much) and revived my love of cooking, but in a new and different way. I leaned that I could function alone (or as a solo, as some like to refer to it). Today I travel, I speak, and I coach widows on how they can transform their life after loss. Is it the life I imagined? Not all all, but it does give me purpose, meaning and peace. It’s an an edited version, but one I can live with.
It takes courage to reimagine a life after loss, a life without your spouse. It requires you to edit and revise the story you held so close to your heart. You get to choose.
- Will you stop the narrative of your life at the end of this chapter in your life?
- Will you have the courage to edit, revise and rewrite the rest of the book.
When you finally gather the courage to begin that next chapter, the potential is there for you to welcome a new version of you; a version that is open to happiness, success, meaning and fulfillment in a new and never before imagined way.
P.S. If you’re struggling with how to make sense of the story of your life, I’m here for you and can help. I offer a program called Navigating Widowhood, where we take a deep dive into what it means to write the masterpiece of your life.