As humans we are pattern seeking beings.
Our brains don’t have to work as hard when we continue to live as we have before.
This is why new experiences and new ways of thinking are challenging.
It takes more effort to change than to stay the same.
However, as most of us know, once the transition is complete, the rewards feel really powerful.
This is how we grow and evolve.
About a month ago, my oldest child, Alec, went away to college.
A major transition for him and our entire family.
As I pass by his empty bed each night, I feel sadness.
I miss that peaceful feeling I’ve had for the last 18 years – knowing that all my people are safe and resting under one roof.
I love the darkness and quiet at night where the busyness of the day has come and gone.
I love looking at my sleeping children – know they are resting their bodies and growing to enjoy tomorrow to their fullest abilities.
I have been called the sleep Nazi around our house because rest has been a huge priority since they were tiny babies.
And now I understand why this has been so important to me.
I want them supported in a way where they can show up as their best well rested selves.
Now one of my babies has to do that for himself in an environment that isn’t particularly conducive to a quiet and peaceful night’s sleep.
So I walk by his room and realize I no longer can affect that part of his life.
He is in charge of all his basic needs these days.
This is a big change.
We are transitioning.
It feels challenging and sometimes I feel sad.
We talk and Facetime a lot and I feel a sense of reassurance.
I see happiness in his face and hear a calm confidence in his voice that feels new.
It is almost like he has an inner knowing that I need to see and hear that regularly.
He is showing up for himself and his family during this time of transition in a way that I never anticipated.
It seems like I hear his voice even more than I did when he lived under the same roof.
Alec stays in touch daily with his younger brother and sister through regular Facetime and text exchanges.
His 10-year-old brother, Cory and he talk multiple times a day and it seems like Cory can’t wait to share every detail with his big bro about his latest soccer game or test grade.
Alec is helping his sister navigate the realities of high school and has done some pretty remarkable behind the scenes lobbying to protect her from risky influencers.
He is embracing his new identity away from home in ways that make it feel like he has joined the adult team and is now helping to take care of his siblings from afar.
The beauty in the way he has managed this transition is now supporting me to face the struggle involving feelings of change and sadness.
HE is helping me grow and continue this evolutionary process.
Change is hard. Transitions are challenging. Feeling sadness is difficult.
And shifting into a new pattern, role, identity - trumps the hard stuff.
This is what we are meant to do as humans.