We love the work that Megan Peters-February (MA in Theology & Culture ‘13) is doing through Cedar & Soul, a wellness site dedicated to yoga, trauma recovery, healing, and faith. Here, Megan writes about the difficulty of transitions—and the possibility that transitions might offer an essential glimpse into the most fundamental parts of ourselves. This post originally appeared on Cedar & Soul.
Even the word makes me fidgety in my seat. Why is transition so difficult, yet so meaningful? What about it brings up so many emotions? Perhaps, transition is a mirror to our nomadic spirit, bringing light to restlessness, avoidance, and the impulse to move on.
Recently, my husband and I moved across the country from Seattle to New York City. This was a big transition! The change of pace, relationships, work, and culture. It has been challenging, yes, but what I’m finding is that transition is not so much about the external as it is the internal. There has been movement happening in me for years, wandering from one dislocated part of myself to another, leaving me exhausted. This recent transition has just pronounced this sense of wandering.
So, why keep moving? How come it is so difficult to stay?
When we experience loss in our lives, a person, a dream, a trauma of sorts, it becomes more and more difficult to connect with our passion, desire, and longings. Why? We internalize the loss as betrayal and regret, “If only I hadn’t hoped for so much… If only I didn’t let my guard down… If only I hadn’t put my heart out there.” All of a sudden, the desire that was once beautiful and full of wonder is this dangerous thing that we resent for having had. Thus, we keep moving, we stay busy, we live out life in a restless spree of distraction.
We must reconcile with the parts of our stories we’ve exiled. We must stay with the parts of ourselves we keep abandoning. When we begin to let ourselves catch up with ourselves, we will know the true meaning of home.
We must reconcile with the parts of our stories we’ve exiled.
Transition means to ‘go across’ in Latin, but to go across what? For each person that crossing will look different, feel different, take more or less time. For me, this crossing looks familiar, like roads I’ve been on in the past, but haven’t returned to in years. Part of my work in transition is slowing down, taking in the scenery of past and present, letting myself stop along the way to forgive, reconcile, and let go into the future.
Whatever transitional season you’re in, let this be a time of seeing your nomadic spirit, reconciling any part of yourself you’ve run away from, and practice the art of staying true to whatever crossing you’re at.
“there is still
somewhere deep within you
a beast shouting that the earth
is exactly what it wanted –
each pond with its blazing lilies
is a prayer heard and answered
whether or not
you have ever dared to be happy,
whether or not
you have ever dared to pray.”