Sometimes We Have To Mourn Life Changes

Change is an interesting thing. While it's often good and necessary for an artist, it can be difficult to let go and move forward. Sometimes no matter how hard you work, and how much you put into something, you reach a dead end. You know that it's time to let go and move on, yet there is this lingering thought of, “I put so much into this.” And you may have. You may have put your heart and soul into it, only to reach a dead end with no where to go, and no turning back.

Other times, things that you have done for years just reach the end of their usefulness. Your artistic muse has shown you a new direction, you may even welcome and embrace it, but there's still that lingering sense of not being able to cut the chord to the past.

Letting go through the haze of mourning…

I've had that happen to me. My career changed direction and something I had done for years and years suddenly held no appeal to me: “Been there, done that.” But even as I embraced the new direction, a part of me mourned leaving the old behind. I felt guilty. After all, it had been a part of my life for so long that it was also a big part of my identity as an artist. And this sense of guilt persisted. In fact, it sometimes rears its head even today as I feel a twinge of guilt for not having the desire to jump back into it.

It's strange how we humans are. We're often emotional and irrational beings. We can get caught up in what seems to be the most ridiculous sort of emotional connections. Change is one of those things. Humanity seems to thrive on nostalgia, on looking back at the good old days, on clinging to a past remembered through a cloudy  vision in our mind's eye. We tend to focus on looking behind, instead of looking forward.

What's a person to do?

Perhaps the most important thing is to acknowledge that what you feel, what you long for, is a legitimate feeling. It is real. Do not dismiss it as foolish, or as some sort of weakness. Acknowledge that we are human and we have feelings. Sometimes these feelings can be irrational, but they are still real. Take the time to look at them for what they are. Take the time to feel the sadness, the uncertainty, and the guilt we may have. Acknowledge it, but don't wallow in it. 

It may help to have a ceremony that honors what we have left behind and recognizes it for what it was. Acknowledge what once was and how it played a big part in our life, then we can freely move ahead and embrace the future.

Change is never easy, but it's the only thing in this life that is for certain. Mourn it, embrace it, move on.

~ MB

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