Dealing with Change and Loss in Relationships and Life


As the summer was coming to an end, Karen was struggling with change and loss in so many areas of her life.

She had decided to not accept any long-term substitute teaching positions because of COVID this fall even though she’d had a fall job every year since she’d retired.

Now she was wondering what she was going to do with her time and was feeling a sense of emptiness and loss.

Her good friend who she walked with every day was moving away and although they would still see one another every now and then, it wouldn’t be the same.

Her husband had been moody, depressed and angry for quite awhile and wanted to quit his job.

Karen didn’t know how to help him because he’d shut her out and she felt alone and afraid for their future.

She reached out to us so she could get some clarity around all the changes that were happening and the best way for her to navigate through them.

Here are some discoveries she made and how you can move through the change and loss in your life as well…

1. Allow the experience to be

Every time we’re trying to change something, we’re pushing against it and all possibilities.

One of our teachers explained that every moment is a loss of balance so we can regain it.

It happens over and over in our lives from learned to walk, ride a bike, learn a new skill or overcome a challenge.

We’ve all made life about not losing our balance but in reality…

We’re meant to get lost so we can find ourselves again–and again. That’s what being human is all about.

Karen saw that in trying to change her husband’s discontent with his job by making suggestions he didn’t want to hear…

She was making the situation worse by pushing against his process with what she thought he should do.

When she saw what was happening, she said to herself–

“What might flow through if I didn’t need to change it?”

With that one thought, she felt the pressure release and more hope take its place.

2. Allow your feelings to flow through

When uncomfortable feelings come up, it just seems to be human nature to try to change them to feel better in whatever way that occurs to us.

It may seem counter intuitive but trying to change your feelings and reliving them over and over will keep them stuck.

Knowing that they will pass brings peace.

Karen realized that her feelings of boredom and loss around not having a job for the fall came and went.

Sometimes she was happy helping her daughter with her house remodeling projects and also when she read a book sitting outside in her swing.

She saw that her feelings came and went–the so called “negative” ones as well as the positive ones.

She also saw that her husband wasn’t always in a foul mood.

Sometimes they actually had fun together biking on the weekends or working in the yard.

She saw that there was peace inside her when she didn’t hang onto how she thought she or anyone else should feel.

The truth is you don’t have to avoid uncomfortable feelings because it’s all temporary.

Allow all your feelings to flow through.

3. Clarity and wisdom will come with acceptance

When change and loss occur in our lives, we immediately think this should not be happening.

But the truth is that it is.

When you aren’t afraid of your experience, you meet the unknown and transform it into the known.

To live your best life, experience everything and meet it the way it is.

When you make yourself available to the moment, wisdom will tell you what to do next.

If you think you know and it has to be a certain way, you miss the possibilities of the moment.

As Karen calmed down and came into acceptance of the changes in her life, she settled into trusting that her husband would know what was right for him.

She saw that during the summer, she had had periods of boredom but something always came up that was interesting to do.

She realized that she had trusted life to flow through her and this fall she could do the same.

Karen also realized that her friend wasn’t going that far away and even if they didn’t get together as much, there might be other possibilities like meeting new people.

Change and loss happens.

It’s what happens next that determines how you navigate through your life.