Lost In Transition - Hanging In There For The Long Haul

Lost In Transition - The Long Haul

This is the second part of this two part series that commenced with: Lost In Transition - How To Cope With Hard Times

In summary:

* Change is an external event or situation that happens to you, and often that is imposed upon you.

* Transition is the internal process that you have to go through as you make your readjustment and realignment to the new realities.

The psychological and emotional transition is a three stage process:

(1) Ending, Losing, Letting Go - Every transition begins with an ending.

(2) The Neutral Zone - This is a fallow time. It is a time of death and rebirth.

(3) The New Beginning - This is where we make the change begin to work.

In this article I want to take a closer look at what happens in the neutral zone of the transition and how we can successfully emerge from it into the new beginning.

Let me illustrate this by telling you a story.

The Wilderness Years - Lost In Transition

In the sacred books of each of the Abrahamic faith traditions there are references to the presence of what we would now refer to as Israeli tribes located in the land of Goshen, a region within ancient Eqypt.

The exodus

The Judaic Torah and Christian Old Testament record the legend of the exodus of these tribes c 1200 BCE from the bondage of slavery in Egypt, under the leadership of Moses, towards what they believed to be their promised land known as Canaan or Palestine.

The promised land

The land of Canaan was located in the Levant region of modern Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Israel. This was the land they believed to be promised to them by their god JHWH (Jahweh/Jehovah)

Leaving aside all modern sensitivities and sensibilities about land grabs and genocide, and the theological difficulties of how a God of love could sanction such a strategy, this was their goal and destination.

The journey

The modern Egyptian city of Zagazig is located north of Cairo in the eastern part of the Nile Delta. This area was known as the land of Goshen in ancient times. The modern Israeli city of Tel Aviv (Jaffa to the ancients) is located on the Mediterranean coast and could be regarded as the coastal epic-centre of ancient Canaan.

According to Google maps the distance between these two cities is 779 km which takes 9 hours 19 mins by car, and 153 hours if you were sufficiently foolhardy to walk it.

However, looking at maps based on that historical period you could have made that journey travelling about 200 km and could have accomplished it in about 10 days on foot on the Horus Way – the ancient Egyptian equivalent of a modern coastal motorway linking ancient Egypt and Canaan.

Stuck in transition

So why do the narratives of this exodus tell us that it took the Israeli tribes forty years years of meandering around the wilderness regions of the Sinai peninsular to accomplish their objective?

To put this in context, we are talking about several hundred thousand semitic tribes people stuck in transition between Goshen (Egypt) and their promised and declared objective of Canaan - a mere 200km away - for forty years, which was the duration of a lifetime in that era.

So what happened, and why?

According to the ancient narrative Moses sent 12 spies into the land of Canaan to assess the wealth and prosperity of the land they were to conquer, and to assess the strength of the military defences the Israeli armies would have to overcome.

10 spies returned overwhelmed with the potential spoils of victory but entirely negative and defeatist in their assessment of the Israeli's chances of military success. Only 2 spies returned with positive assessments.

Reasons for getting stuck in transition

The narratives recall that the Israeli tribes-people sided with the negative view and JHWH (their god) was incensed at their:

* Low expectation
* Fear of failure
* Lack of trust
* Lack or loss of vision

What has to emerge during the transition

The narrative recounts how that JHWH cursed them to spend 40 years in transition until that generation of no faith had all died, and a new generation emerged with a:

* New identity
* New way of doing things
* New vision and sense of mission

Damaging diversions and distractions before the transition is complete

However, the narrative recounts that their leader Moses had to help the emergent generation address some dangerous and potentially damaging diversions that represented the old way of thinking:

* A return to the past The pull of nostalgia of getting back to "how things used to be" is very strong in times of doubt and uncertainty.

* An escape into weird or inappropriate solutions. The worship of gold idols or the lure of easy/instant riches and "get rich quick" schemes are a deadly cul-de-sac and undermine the new vision.

* An early exit to greener fields. Moses had to contend with this one as people looked longingly at some of the tribes that they passed along the route, and joined them. Short cuts out of the transition process can not deliver because the necessary lessons are not learned.

* An impulse to rush. Moses had to deal with people who didn’t see why they couldn’t enter the Promised Land much sooner, but they weren't ready and had not learned the lessons they needed to, to be able to enter the promised land.

How To Stop Being Lost In Transition And Move Into New Beginnings

9 key points:

    Know what you want - develop clarity about an objective that really lights your fire - something that you really want to pursue "as if your life depended on it" - because it does!

    (2) Feel it now - if you don't have the feeling of your goal having already been achieved, you will not be living in the energy of a successful outcome.

    Maintain an attitude of positive expectation. We invariably rise to the limits of our own expectations in life.

    (4) Cultivate a mindset of gratitude Gratitude releases you from your attachment and "stuckness" to negative feelings, and it automatically generates a positive energy within you. Also, be thankful for that which you have not yet received.

    (5) Drop the "how's this gonna happen?" and trust that it will all come together. The importance and power of this is that it stops you thinking and gets you "out of your own way" as you align yourself with your higher consciousness that is already at work in the situation.

    (6) Take Action - and act on inner prompts and intuitions as they arise. Check-in regularly with yourself and see if you feel an inner prompting to do something - and when you do, then act on it to very the best of your ability. When you do, just do it. Don't think about it or worry about the outcome.

    (7) Always "go the extra mile" - add as much value as you can in your interactions with people. Exceed their expectations. Doing this weakens your own ego-centricity and generates a higher energy within you.

    (8 Accept the gestation period. This may be brief but frequently is longer. It could take months and often years for your goals to come to fruition. Remember that whether you like it or not life works in cycles and that does involve waiting.

    (9) Hang on in there. Persistence coupled with consistence is everything. You will almost certainly experience hold ups, road blocks and seemingly insurmountable obstacles. That is the nature of life. It is designed to sort out the truly committed from the waverers.

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