Two disclaimers right from the beginning:
Any wisdom that shows up in this post belongs to William Bridges who wrote many books on dealing with transitions – and if no wisdom is here, then I have not represented Bridges well. Here is the Bridges’ page at Amazon so you can check out some of his books: https://amzn.to/2Rbl84R. I am currently working through Transitions: Making Sense of Life’s Changes.
2. I am still processing this, so this post is more about an invitation to explore this concept, instead of a proclamation of any particular insight.
Here is Bridges’ basic premise:
Change is something that we go through, sometimes we have no say in the matter and it happens. Change does not mean that we or the organizations we are in actual transition. Change is an invitation to transition.
The transition you see is something we choose to walk through.
A transition is a process that involves an ending, a neutral space, and a new beginning. It is internal, it is something that is a process, it takes time and requires us to face things that are not only external realities but also internal drivers.
Why I am I sharing this with you all?
I find since reading this, that a lot of conversations I have had with people, involve stress over the transition, not change. Up until I heard Bridges articulate the difference, I was making the same mistake.
Something would change.
I would stress.
I would be upset that I could not undo the change.
The whole time I was battling against a force that was happening to me when the real call was to transition.
Since reading Bridges’ articulation of change and transition, I am identifying in my life places where a transition is required. I can choose to participate in that transition (or I can choose not to). I am starting also see the clear difference in change that is happening to, near or around me. Both change and transition are things we experience, but knowing the difference can help us live and lead well.
Where are you experiencing change?
Where are you being called to transition?
Are you participating in that transition or fighting it instead?
Dig into this when you can. Lean into transition not away.
Strength and courage,
PS: In the days ahead, I might attempt to connect the dots of when we see change happen in Scripture and when people choose to transition and when others do not and the consequences that happen. It is most definetely there.