007B. A Conversation on Major Life Changes

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Key Quotes

“Each day we are presented with new information, and this may or may not prompt us to reassess our perspectives or paths. When they do, though, that’s when these major life changes are more likely to happen.” -Wesley Jackson

“It’s important because it causes us to understand what truly matters. It causes you to clarify what sorts of things you believe in, and what sorts of things you want to carry forward in light of whatever change that’s happening.” -Andrew Gilley

Episode Summary

In life, sometimes the ground shifts beneath our feet, sweeping us into a tide of change. From the jolt of a career shift to the void left by a lost loved one, or even a revelation that shakes our very core – how do we remain resilient? 

In a world where technology accelerates and societal norms flip on their head, it’s crucial to harness the right mindset and tools to steer our ship amidst these waves. But, what if our own habits blind us from seeing the whole picture?

Dive into this episode of Surviving Humanity as we unravel the art of navigating life’s most unexpected turns and the hidden growth that awaits on the other side. Don’t miss out on a guide to thriving in our ever-evolving world.

Full Transcript

[00:00:00] Wesley Jackson: How do you think major life changes are related to acceptance? In today’s self help podcast episode, we explore why major life changes are worth revisiting today in that context of acceptance. We then examine the nature of major life changes and how they’re an important factor in all of our lives.

[00:00:16] Andrew Gilley: Lastly, we share insights we’ve compiled on how to effectively handle the difficulties we all may encounter with major life changes.

Welcome to Surviving Humanity: A Self-Help Podcast, where we shift your perspective to help you overcome the obstacles in your life. We are Wesley Jackson and Andrew Gilley, and we hope to foster a sense of connection and community over our common struggles, while providing you with the tools to overcome them.

As always, our FacebookSubreddit, and Twitter are the best places to go for community, connection, and support, and links to these are in the show notes.

And let’s get started.

So Wes, it seems immediately obvious, what are major life changes?

[00:00:54] Wesley Jackson: So, major life changes are those significant shifts in our personal, professional, or emotional lives that fundamentally alter the trajectory of our entire existence. They can be voluntary or involuntary. And they often mark the transition from one phase of life to another. For example, a change in career, the loss of a loved one or a parent, or even a sudden realization about oneself.

All of these can all qualify as major life changes because they’re the moments that divide our lives into before and after. For example, in my own life, I experienced this moment when my parents separated and when my road biking accident in December of 2020, drastically altered my daily existence because it left me with chronic pain throughout the right side of my body.

[00:01:40] Andrew Gilley: And from that moment onward, my life became split into before the accident and after the accident or before my parents separated and after my parents separated. What would you say, Andrew? What do you think major life changes entail? Yeah, I very early on when I started doing therapy, I got a worksheet that’s basically about this exact thing. It’s about how stressful different events in your life are. Number one was divorce. Number two was the death of a spouse, and number three was marriage. And that’s funny, and also, you know, if you think about it, pretty interesting, because…

One, it’s more distress on a person to have a spouse divorce them than die. It’s, you know, I think the breaking of that kind of bond voluntarily versus involuntarily is different. But also marriage, I thought was really interesting in that too, because even positive events, you know, are really stressful too. You know, I’m married and yeah, I would confirm that. Absolutely that my wedding was, you know, a very good event, something I really loved, but it was also really stressful.

So, you know, major life changes are those kind of events that are high stress points. You know, you kind of pivot around the kind of stress those major events cause. Some are planned like a wedding or high school graduation or something like that, and some aren’t. You know, the death of a parent or, you know, a sudden tragedy that appears in your life, losing your job, things like this.

But grappling with these, whether good or bad is always a key point in how you can develop as a person and how you can work through those really traumatizing moments, or even the great moments in your life, because both of those represent really pivotal opportunities for growth.

Go ahead. Yeah,

[00:03:32] Wesley Jackson: I think you hit the nail right on the head with the stress aspect and angle because you’re super right. Even if it’s decisions that are ultimately… Like amazingly beneficial for you or whether they’re voluntary or involuntary, they’re always ones that revolve around.

Like there’s gravity with these decisions and with that comes that stress that you were talking about. So I never really thought about it like that, but you’re totally right.

[00:03:56] Andrew Gilley: When looking at these events from kind of a holistic perspective, looking over your whole life, it can definitely be kind of a pivotal point and a road map to how things can go from there.

So I do want to ask, you know, this is obviously a pretty big topic. You know, people have beentalking about this for a long time.

I started reading Moby Dick for the first time. Pretty recently, and I’d say the book is kind of about this.

So, why do you think it’s relevant today to talk about, you know, major life changes, these sorts of major events and how we deal with them?

[00:04:27] Wesley Jackson: I unfortunately haven’t read Moby Dick, so I don’t know the full story behind what major life changes were involved in there besides the whole white whale part.

[00:04:35] Andrew Gilley: That was pretty much it. Not to diminish the book, that’s just…

I’m not done with the book for the record. But that was what I was referencing anyway.

[00:04:42] Wesley Jackson: Got it. Yeah. The white whale changed his whole life, basically.

[00:04:46] Andrew Gilley: Exactly.

[00:04:46] Wesley Jackson: I could see that. But why is it relevant today?

So we live in a world that’s constantly evolving and changing, whether we are aware of that or not.

And, you know, technology advances, social norms shift, political landscapes, ebb and flow. This is all happening constantly around us. Each day we are presented with new information, and this may or may not prompt us to reassess our perspectives or paths. When they do, though, that’s when these major life changes are more likely to happen.

For example, the ongoing pandemic has thrust numerous life changes onto people worldwide still is, I would say, to this day, and thus understanding how to navigate these shifts has become even more relevant in our modern era.

For me, this relevance at home in a literally painful way after my accident because my day to day experiences were no longer the same.

The chronic pain that I faced necessitated a huge shift in my lifestyle and my perspective of myself and of other people. And so this experience has made the concept of navigating major life changes. Not just a theoretical concepts or an abstraction, but a tangible lived reality. But why would you say that it’s relevant today, Andrew, other than what I’ve mentioned already about the pandemic, for example?

[00:06:07] Andrew Gilley: I do want to elaborate on that point because I think it’s important. You know, you can’t always really tell or control when a major life shift happens. You know, either you’re someone working a job that’s now work from home and your entire life is different, or you’re working something, you know, a so called “essential worker,” which I don’t mean they aren’t essential, but I mean, they were never compensated anyway. But, like, essential workers who have to do the same things, but are now having to think about a fear of death, things like that. These things are major points in people’s lives that the kind of whole of their self-image revolves around.

Because of how dramatically these sorts of things impact any individual and the society around them. So when you’re looking at yourself, you know, kind of in the mirror, you’re wondering what you can do.

[00:07:02] Wesley Jackson: Yeah, like where to go from here, right?

[00:07:04] Andrew Gilley: You know, yeah, and who you should be in the light of these very dramatic events. And yeah, it’s difficult to tell. I mean, I can’t tell anybody what to do with their lives. That’s kind of a decision everyone has to make.

[00:07:18] Wesley Jackson: Just do your best basically.

[00:07:19] Andrew Gilley: Essentially. Yeah. You’re kind of pivoting from these seismic changes to becoming the person you want to be. Or at least that’s one way to go about it.

[00:07:30] Wesley Jackson: I like that angle. That’s kind of like the constant, right? That kind of directs your path even in the midst of these very intense life changes.

[00:07:39] Andrew Gilley: Absolutely. So yeah, I’ll ask there, pivoting off that point.

You know, what do you think is important about working with these changes in our lives, you know? How is that important to grapple with these?

[00:07:50] Wesley Jackson: So, major life changes are pretty much an essential part of our development as individuals. They are relatively unavoidable, I would say. I don’t know anyone that doesn’t have a story of some sort that involves some sort of major life change, whether it was voluntary or involuntary.

And so it’s like you already mentioned it, just right now, these major life changes, they shape our character, or they at least prompt us to reconsider it. Whether it’s our views, our relationships, or even our entire sense of self.

And so these are these milestones on our journey of self discovery and personal growth and dealing with these changes, especially the unwelcome ones, they teach us resilience and adaptability. That lesson is there on the table for each of us each time something like this happens to us. For instance, my own accident forced me to develop a new kind of resilience because each day I’m battling chronic pain.

So I’ve had to redefine my views on strength and perseverance, and it’s also you know, even though it’s an unwelcome change it has sculpted me into a new version of myself, and in fact, a better one. Because it has made me a lot more empathetic and compassionate to everyone else that also suffers any sort of invisible illness, whether it’s chronic pain, genetic, or mental.

It doesn’t matter. They’re all the same at the end of the day because they’re invisible unless you talk about it. And so this is a version of me that understands pain. But also the strength that can be forged from it. And I did not have this perspective before my bicycle crash. But what about you, Andrew?

How would you say that major life changes are important to our lives as a whole?

[00:09:29] Andrew Gilley: Yeah, I think… That’s a really good thing you’re hitting on there when you’re talking about things that, you know, really reframe your perspective, you know, even if they’re bad. You know, like obviously, going through a bike crash and I’m in chronic pain afterwards.

And, you know, a good thing. But you can kind of pivot from it to understanding the world better, understanding yourself better. And I think these are the things that really matter. You know, self understanding and through self understanding, the understanding of others. When you’re looking at these sorts of things, this is, I think, what really cataclysmic events in your life.

It leads you to having these kind of revelations. And, you know, you can’t really predict these, so it’s hard to shortcut this kind of growth, you know?

[00:10:17] Wesley Jackson: Yeah, you can’t, like, just thrust major life changes on someone one after another.

[00:10:22] Andrew Gilley: Exactly. I guess that’s kind of biblically, that’s Job. So that doesn’t go that well.

But it’s important because it causes us to understand what truly matters. And it causes you to clarify what sorts of things you believe in. And what sorts of things you want to carry forward in light of whatever change that’s happening.

So we like to talk about urgency too. So, you know, this is all well and good. These are all very good topics, but why now? Why 2023? Why are we looking at this?

[00:10:57] Wesley Jackson: So even beyond this year, this is… The urgency lies in our need to be well equipped to manage these changes, because we don’t know when they’re going to happen, whether they’re voluntary or involuntary.

And, you know, without the right mindset or strategies, major life changes can lead to immense stress, anxiety, and depression, more than they already instigate. Because we tend to make mountains out of mole hills, right? If we sit and ruminate on these major life changes for too long without moving forward.

And so by learning to accept and navigate these shifts, we can mitigate the negative effects that come with them and actually emerge stronger out of it as end result. That my own personal case is a testament to that because there was an urgency in the need for understanding and accepting my new reality.

It was a literal matter of survival because it was really tearing me apart physically and mentally during the initial year, I would say, of this post crash. Because I was not accepting the reality of my situation. I was trying to deny it and that just made everything worse.

And so living with daily chronic pain required me to quickly find ways to adapt and manage the physical and emotional toll that it was taking.

The journey wasn’t easy, but the necessity of it all was unavoidable. And that is what prompted the change. And so this is why it’s important to take a holistic and non-dualistic view to major life changes in general, because they’re not all good and they’re not all bad.

There is a gray area. Of balance within there that we all must find in order to emerge out of these major life changes better than we were before.

Would you agree? What? Why do you think that there’s a reason for urgency now, Andrew?

[00:12:41] Andrew Gilley: Yeah, I would agree. this lack of predictability is, I think, an important aspect here because, I don’t know, if you’ve been alive in the last, I don’t know, three years alone, things are going weird. And they’re not going to get less weird in terms of climate change and just general state of the world.

Things are rough in general. And dealing with the state of the world by itself is stressful in these sorts of times. Let alone having to deal with your own life.

So, the urgency to deal with these major life shifts comes from exactly what you said, that you can’t predict what’s ever going to happen there. And it’s, you know, even good life like even getting married and, you know, I’ve been married and it was a shift way for the better for me.

But, it’s still something you kind of have to think about because it’s going to shift every other aspect of your life. And that’s really kind of the thing to look at. The urgency is looking at it in a holistic way, in the context of all parts of your life.

Because if you don’t have that kind of holistic understanding, that’s what leads to, you know, jumping into a marriage or, you know, maybe jumping into a divorce, or spontaneously moving countries or anything like that.

It can often happen because of internal turmoil or things like that, and you just kind of pile that on by forcing a major life change or it happens to you or anything like that, and it’s very emotionally stressful.

So, the urgency is essentially that life comes at you fast and having the tools to deal with that is very helpful because the world and life is a potentially very chaotic place and the better you can deal with major life changes and transform them into something positive into something that helps you grow the better off you’ll be.

[00:14:44] Wesley Jackson: Yeah, it’s all about the reaction, right?

[00:14:47] Andrew Gilley: Absolutely.

[00:14:48] Wesley Jackson: Let’s shift gears. Where do you feel this problem comes from, though, exactly, Andrew?

[00:14:52] Andrew Gilley: The problem with major light changes in general is, just like I was talking about earlier, you know, even positive ones require a major shift in your mindset. You know, being married causes a pretty major shift in most people’s mindsets.

[00:15:10] Wesley Jackson: I would hope so.

[00:15:13] Andrew Gilley: You know, I’m also thinking about couples who for which marriage is a formality too. But that’s kind of the point too, that a major life change isn’t just, you know, one moment, it’s all the things leading up to that moment as well. So the problem often comes from, you know,if you want to get a new job or if you don’t want something to happen that you’re not looking at the ways in which your current habits are feeding into those certain outcomes, basically.

That major life change is the result of how we work towards something, and we can often encourage good things or encourage bad things based on that, you know. There’s a million stories of people and not happy relationships, you know, going through with it, getting married because they were just stuck in that mindset, they were stuck in that bad relationship and they just let the momentum carry them through.

That’s a really good point. I have never really thought about the habit of perspective here, in terms of, the trajectory effect, right? Like, you’re moving towards something no matter what that might be at the end of the day.

[00:16:25] Wesley Jackson: It could be something that’s bad or something that’s good. But once you eventually hit that major life change, that’s where your habits kind of get put in the limelight, right, wouldn’t you say?

[00:16:35] Andrew Gilley: Right. It’s becomes, you know, small changes lead to big changes, essentially. You know, when you’re looking at… When you’re, you know, in a relationship with a new person, spending more time with them eventually becomes marriage, you know. It’s a snowball effect.

So small, little changes become very dramatic, and that’s sort of a way of looking at major life changes, is grappling with the ways in which the ways you’re acting can snowball and become a new thing.

Big new thing, you know, transitioning from you know, say a relationship to a marriage that becomes very…

It feels different, but the underlying concept is the same. Major life changes kind of do this to you, they reframe the ways in which you’re talking about relationship or a job, or a home or anything like that.

It becomes something new to you inside. And you reframe your perspective based on the events that have shifted that. Some you can control, that I was describing there. Some you can’t.

But overall, your perspective on that is going to shape how you go forward. Go ahead.

[00:17:50] Wesley Jackson: Your notion that you mentioned of reframing and how it changes your relationship with people and things made me think how it also changes like the language that you use and like the words. And because, you know, all that has meaning as well, and the way that you talk about things also changes a lot of the time after major life changes, because it shifts like the entirety of your being.

[00:18:12] Andrew Gilley: Absolutely. I will go now with where I feel this problem comes from. You already touched on it, but it’s our inherent, like, resistance to change and the discomfort that comes with that uncertainty, you know.

[00:18:24] Wesley Jackson: And you also already touched on the notion of habits. We are creatures of habit and routine, and when that’s disrupted, it can feel like our entire world is being turned upside down.

You know, I mean, my personal experience, again, is a testament to this. I clung to this hope that I could return to my “before.” Before the pain and the before the physical limitations that I now have. But it was my resistance to this new reality that created the internal struggle and made the problem so much worse than it really was.

For about a year and a half, I would say I was really struggling day-to-day. But other than ourselves, who do you feel this is a problem in particular for Andrew?

[00:19:04] Andrew Gilley: Anybody who’s got a sort of change forced on them, I think is going to be the people who just struggle with the most, you know, my family lived near Louisiana, you know, they lived in Mississippi in the Gulf Coast during Hurricane Katrina.

And that wasn’t really something anybody could prepare for. But Katrina really changed everybody’s lives there, particularly in New Orleans itself. And it’s difficult to really grapple with how the… It’s a problem in particular for people who can’t really prepare for these sorts of traumatic events.

It’s, you know, these sorts of things hurt the most when they come at you unexpectedly, whether that’s a hurricane or a spouse dying, or a spouse divorcing, or anything like that. So who’s it a problem for?

It’s a problem for everybody because you never know when something like that’s going to happen.

You never can predict this and the world is becoming a pretty chaotic place in general. So, looking at the world, it’s a problem for all of us, but it’s a problem more if you don’t see it coming.

[00:20:15] Wesley Jackson: Yeah, I would agree with you. The issue is universal. And I would say that it’s also particularly challenging for those who have experienced trauma or significant stress in the past because major life changes can trigger the trauma responses from the past,end up kind of foregoing that opportunity to change in a positive way in reaction to a major life change.

And so individuals like this, or like us, for example, might find change and uncertainty even more daunting. because of our previous experiences that have conditioned us to perceive unpredictability as a threat, rather than just a kind of fact of life.

[00:20:56] Andrew Gilley: Sure.

Wesley Jackson: And again, like in the wake of my accident, I felt this problem intensely, because of the unpredictable nature of my chronic pain. I have flare ups. I have days where it’s not as bad. It’s always there.

But on the days where it’s worse, I just really just don’t want to deal with it. And it really triggers a lot of my trauma responses to just avoid the entire situation and fall back into addiction, for example.

[00:21:21] Andrew Gilley: Right.

[00:21:22] Wesley Jackson: So that was a source of continuous stress and uncertainty for me, because it’s like, not a good or a bad day. But I have good days and I have better days. And on those days where it’s only just good because the pain is at its normal level.

The uncertainty of that makes it a bit hard to grapple with the reality of the situation sometimes. And so it’s a challenge not just for the body, but for the mind as well, whether it’s a bicycle crash like mine or a spouse dying, these are experiences that affect us to our core.

[00:21:54] Andrew Gilley: Absolutely.

Wesley Jackson: Let’s dig into this just a little bit more. Why should we care exactly about major life changes, Andrew?

[00:22:02] Andrew Gilley: Well, we should care because they’re going to happen to all of us and they’re going to happen to everybody we know, at some point or another. Whether they’re voluntary or involuntary, they’re going to have it.

I think it’d be very good, too. And that’s sort of the problem as well. Even very good things can cause us to do stuff that isn’t such a good idea, you know.

I mentioned on the podcast before, a lot of addicts relapse during good things too, like at a wedding or, you know, after they get a promotion or something like that, because really strong emotions, either positive or negative, really play a role in our consumption of drugs, alcohol, anything you want there that we, you know, we might lean on as a crutch. And you’re looking at all of these things put together. It becomes very volatile if you’re sort of an… If you’re an individual who does high risk activities, you know, drug using things like, you know, things of that nature.

And so I guess, my general point is the more problems you have, the more struggles you have. The more you put yourself at risk for these kinds of big shifts. And so these are the things that represent a potential for positive change.

And that’s really why you need to look at them carefully, because even very stressful events like this have really good potential for positive change, you know.

You’ll talk a lot about rock bottom, but you know, there’s something to that where you’re just in a very desperate place and your major shift, you know, getting off drugs or doing less drugs or whatever you’re doing there to change your life. That’s a very powerful thing and those positive shifts can really transform the trajectory of your life too.

So getting a grapple on these, whether they’re positive or negative, knowing how to seize opportunities, that’s very important too. Because also opportunities present themselves in very negative events, and you can turn them into… I wouldn’t say positive events, but you can have positive, I suppose, revelations from them and grow.

[00:24:17] Wesley Jackson: Yeah, that really reminds me of the phrase, when a door closes, a window opens.

[00:24:21] Andrew Gilley: Sure, yeah, absolutely.

[00:24:23] Wesley Jackson: You already touched on this, and we’ve already talked about it multiple times now in this episode. We should care because change is an inevitable part of our lives. You cannot avoid it, it’s all around us.

It’s just a matter of whether you’re aware of it or not, or choose to see it, I would say. Because how we handle the change can influence our overall wellbeing and quality of life. Our ability to cope with and grow from major life changes is a crucial component of emotional resilience in particular.

From personal experience, I can say that caring about how we handle change isn’t just this kind of theoretical abstract point. It is a critical aspect of our lives.

Post accident, I had to learn how to re care for myself. I had to, both physically and emotionally, like, relearn this, and it’s been a huge lesson in resilience and adapting to my new reality.

Andrew Gilley: For sure, yeah, developing that sort of thing is something, you know, you never want to have to do, but, you know, it’s just gonna show up sometimes, and the way you respond to it is gonna change the trajectory of your life for better or worse. Not that, that locks you in for the rest of your life, but being prepared for those changes is important to be able to navigate them effectively.

So let’s tie it back to our larger theme here of acceptance. We’ve, you know, touched on it all throughout this point or all throughout this episode.

But let’s see, what do you think major life changes really teach us about acceptance?

[00:25:54] Wesley Jackson: So I think the big thing that everyone needs to realize is that acceptance does not mean that we have to like or be happy about the changes.

We just need to accept that they have happened and move forward from them. It’s about acknowledging the reality of the situation and allowing ourselves to actually feel the accompanying emotions that come with that, and there’s a lot, and they’re deep, and they hit hard and heavy and fast sometimes, these emotions that surround major life changes. But it’s the only by allowing us ourselves to fill them, will we be able to find a way to move forward.

And in my own personal journey, acceptance has been a very challenging but absolutely necessary step, and accepting the daily pain meant acknowledging that my life has changed and it won’t be the same as “before.” And this acceptance is integral to finding my way forward from all of this.

What would you say though, Andrew? How do you think major life changes tie back to the larger topic of acceptance?

[00:26:55] Andrew Gilley: Pardon me. I do think there is a general thing to talk about here with, you had injury there, I’m gonna sort of compare it to like a mental health diagnosis when I first got diagnosed with depression. That was the first one.

That’s kind of a major shift from how you previously regarded life, even if nothing has actually changed.

And I think that’s kind of an important thing, because it doesn’t necessarily have to be an event. It can be a revelation, it can be a new understanding, it can be a mind shift, it can be a reframe. All of these things can be major life changes that aren’t actually events, but are internal. And when you’re looking at that, you’re looking at a new understanding of yourself, too.

And all of this is really hard, you know, this is all very rapid and, you know, you’re looking at different kinds of things about yourself and about reality that you may not have understood before. I’m just gonna have it, you know, in the blink of an eye, you know, in the hurricane or an earthquake or something like that, or even just, you know, understanding yourself as neurodivergent or something like that, it can cause a reframe of your whole life, and that’s gonna be difficult.

But accepting that while hard is sort of the best place to start. It’s the place to start from seeing these major life events and framing them as a story of your life.

We all kind of think of ourselves in a narrative form. Many people do. Anyway, we all think of ourselves, you know, as people with a story.

We tell our own stories in our heads as narrative people. And I think that’s a very important thing to realize because accepting the story is important in traumatic incidences or, even very good things that you can’t control.

It’s a matter of sort of rolling with life, and I think that’s how it works with acceptance there.

[00:28:54] Wesley Jackson: I like the story metaphor. I’m going to run with it a little bit further here and turn it into a book one. It’s like, once you have finished a chapter, you have to accept what has happened in that chapter in order to get to the next chapter, and it’s like you said, it’s the starting point of when you actually start moving beyond an obstacle that was previously in your life or made your life change and actually changing positively in response to it.

[00:29:18] Andrew Gilley: I think that’s a good way of looking at it. You know, any closed chapter in the past can serve as a lesson for the move forward. So what do you think, you know, if you had to take away a lesson here from our talk, you know, what is something a person could do?

You know, what advice could you give just one person looking to do something about this?

[00:29:41] Wesley Jackson: So, in response to major life changes or preemptively preparing ourselves for them, as individuals, we can cultivate acceptance, first off, and resilience through self awareness, self care, and I would say most importantly that a lot of us neglect all too often, is seeking support when needed, and we can work on developing a growth mindset in tandem with this, that allows us to see changes as opportunities rather than threats.

And like I said, it can also be beneficial to seek therapeutic support in this case, or counseling to navigate these changes. There is nothing wrong with that.

There is absolutely no guilt or shame involved there. That is all in our heads and due to societal, like, stigmas around mental health. Needing help is not a problem. It’s a fact of life. We cannot survive without each other. And so these strategies for myself have been instrumental in my own personal journey.

Self care has taken on a completely new meaning for me. And the way that I approach it now is completely different than the way I did in the past. I take it a lot more seriously now because it includes managing my pain and recognizing my limitations, which I was previously pushing myself far beyond on a two regular basis.

And so seeking support from loved ones and professionals has been essential for me to get through all of this and recognizing the change as an opportunity. While it has been the hardest thing to do, even in that, I have found room for growth and self understanding. It’s not an easy lesson, but it’s one that if you learn it properly and accept it, it’s a very powerful one for self growth.

But what would you say we can do as individuals, Andrew, about this problem?

[00:31:25] Andrew Gilley: Yeah, your comment there made me think of a friend of mine who is, by all accounts, shockingly normal. You know, he hasn’t had the easiest life, but it’s, but he’s a very, you know, mentally… Solid stable guy, but he did get divorced and that’s a rough on everybody.

Like I said, divorce is actually more stressful than your spouse dying. So he went to one therapy session and it helped him immensely. Wow. Yeah, he didn’t really need to go back. It was just like it gave him the tools to grapple with it.

So it’s really understanding that it’s okay to, like, look for help, like you said, in the context of major life changes and, you know, especially if you’re, you know, also in predominant illness or something like that.

Yeah, it’s probably more important, but really it’s don’t try to muscle through it, I guess, would be my main message here.

Don’t just try to bulldoze your way through a major life change, happily or unhappily, either way, without really kind of taking some time to reflect on what it means for you.

I think if you take some time to look at it, then you kind of understand yourself a little better, you understand the people around you a little better, and then you understand whether or not you need support to this life change.

If it’s bad or good or whatever, because you can need it for both. Looking at these things in context, looking at these changes in context of your life, allow you to move forward more effectively and become who you want to be if you’re prepared for them.

So preparing yourself, looking at yourself in the right way with compassion will allow you to develop a growth mindset there and look at life changes, good or bad as an opportunity.

And importantly, knowing that these inflection points in your life happen to everybody and they’re okay, and it’s important to reach out.

[00:33:18] Wesley Jackson: I think that’s a great way to round it out approach yourself with compassionate curiosity.

[00:33:22] Andrew Gilley: Absolutely.

 Wesley Jackson: Thank you everybody for listening. Tune in next Tuesday, where we will have Zak Aghbal on the show to share his experience with major life changes and how through our understanding of them we may just survive humanity.

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Links to our Patreon and the challenge can be found in the show notes and we will see you next week. Bye. Bye. 

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