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Letting Go

How do we make a transition to a new identity when we've held the current one so deeply that it is part of the fabric of our being? We have no choice but to move forward with the parts we can keep.
08/04/2015 11:11am ET | Updated August 4, 2016
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Eighteen years----gone in a flash. On August 28th, my first child will turn eighteen
and on August 29th, he'll be dropped off at college. That's it. He belongs to the world more than ever. He'll no longer belong to me.

Some of you may be going through the same thing with your kin or maybe you have
to let go of a stage of your life or career right now. I think the transition is similar.

How do we make a transition to a new identity when we've held the current one so deeply that it is part of the fabric of our being? We have no choice but to move forward with the parts we can keep.

I won't be needed as much. I won't be included as much but what I can move forward with is my love for this young person and my intense hope that life gives him a fair or extraordinarily great hand. I can persist in my presence (at a distance) and be available when I'm needed. I can keep using my listening skills and my ability to guide with questions. And, oh yeah, I can keep filling his bank account. (Ha!)

It won't be the same. It just won't. And lamenting that won't change anything or make me feel better.

The same with a job, a career, or even a marriage or partnership. No, life will not be the same. But we can move on with the constants; hard and soft skills, your life or work lessons and the impact you've made and can make again somewhere else.

In the Now What?® program we call the process of assessing what moves forward with you 'separating the yolk from the rest of the egg'. Let's keep the nucleus, the DNA that is organically you and discard the rest. Everything that can be taken away is the rest. All that is undeniably you can move forward to your next adventure.

"Resistance creates suffering. Stress happens when your mind resists what is... The only problem in your life is your mind's resistance to life as it unfolds. " -- Dan Millman

You are not your job description, your nice office, your salary or even the perception others have of you. You are a living, breathing being that can create again. You can create a new opportunity, a new relationship or a transformed circumstance. Human beings are highly creative and resourceful.

I'll recreate the relationship with my son. I'll keep my mouth shut more (at least I'll try). I'll work on quieting my need for information on his whereabouts and experiences. (He was just on an overnight, two-day orientation at the university and it took everything I had not to text twenty times a day asking, "What are you doing now????!!") Since I won't be able to see the state of his dorm room, I know I'll nag less, and I'm sure that will go a long way toward building a different relationship.

We never lose what the past formed in us, but we do get the chance to choose how
we evolve through change. We don't always choose the change, but we can let it grow us eventually even if we are temporarily hurt or bereft by our loss.

And granted, some losses take more time to mourn than others. Mourn if you have to. I know I will. But never stop moving.

In closing, a little spotlight on how mother and son are already moving forward. Being that my son's chosen college is less than an hour from home he asked: "You won't be coming to visit me all the time will you?" My retort?

"You won't be coming home to have laundry done all the time will you?"

Touché!

Let go, and move on!

Originally posted as a blog post on www.nowwhatcoaching.com. Watch Laura's TED TALK