“To everything, there is a season, and a time to every purpose, under heaven” so sang The Byrds many years ago and now this season is closing.

In life, something of significance happens, decisions are made, and actions are taken outside of our control that directly affects us. These occurrences can, at times, create a sense of disbelief, disappointment, shock or anger. Our world is changed forever. What are we to do?

We have a simple choice – to accept it, move forward and grow or be stuck, feeling unempowered and lost. I’m sure you know of someone who hasn’t moved on from events that occurred 10 years ago – people who not only make themselves sad but appear to enjoy making other people sad along with them?

Yes, it is particularly difficult to ‘just accept it’, given the level of emotional and psychological efforts invested but move forward and grow we must – because that is what life is all about.

But how? The first thing to do is to allow yourself the opportunity to feel sad. Legitimize your emotion and feeling and display them in front of people you care about. This demonstration of emotion shows your authenticity of character and allows other people to heal as well.

Celebrate the past and the present – reflect on achievements and wonderful events you have participated in with pride and gratitude. While an event may end, memories shouldn’t. I am a big believer in acknowledging the good and bad in any situation as we can use these things to grow. A happy life is about memories and moments – some of them micro-moments. Times of reflection is where joy and growth occurs. Take photos, share memories, and laugh at all the achievements.

Endings provide an enormous opportunity for gratefulness. You almost feel sad and disappointed for those who didn’t share in the achievement and disappointments, in all the craziness. What an opportunity you have to share your gratefulness with people who matter. People around you have made you a better person for the opportunities you have been given. Don’t waste this opportunity to express your gratitude for the good and bad experiences.

For example, I for one am grateful for the opportunity to share my stories and lessons I’ve learnt with Rural Weekly. What an opportunity I have had to learn new skills, work with some of the best people, and to be given a platform to share things I am passionate about. Wow! How lucky am I!

When something ends – relationships, careers, friendships, there is sometimes a feeling of need to ‘do’ – to fill the void with frivolous activity. STOP! Just stop and breath. Remind yourself that the universe has a way of sorting things out when it’s right for you. Trust in the universe that seasons turn.

Then, get excited about the many possibilities that are in front of you for growth. Your past does not define who you are or your future. YOU do that!

Often, people keep filling the void because that’s what we have always done. When there is disruption – through family, relationship breakdown, global pandemics and economic reform, there is growth. Just make sure you are ready to respond when then opportunity comes – look after yourself, develop habits and rituals that serve you and critically, surround yourself with people who build you up and envelop you in positivity and nurturing.

Look after yourself so you can look after your family, your mates, and your world. Thanks to those who read and supported my column in The Rural Weekly over the years. Now onto the next opportunity for The Resilience Whisperer…