I came upon this entry in my journal last night. It’s dated May of 2016.
(Prologue: The members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints are divided into groups called “wards.” Each ward attends church at a certain time so that we can all fit in the church buildings on Sundays. This journal entry is describing how our ward was so large that the leaders were shifting the boundaries so we could fit more comfortably at our meetings.)
The big news today is that the ward boundaries are changing soon. At first, I was okay with it. A little excited. My husband (knowing in advance what the changes were going to be) told me about the new boundaries—how we are being moved to the new ward—a different ward with people I don’t know yet. I was okay with it—all until at church I looked around at all the faces of our current ward. All the faces of our ward family. And then I was sad. Last night, I got up with baby, and when I went back to bed, I couldn’t fall back asleep. My heart ached. The majority of our current ward will move on without us. I won’t be a part of choir anymore (which I’ve been for FIVE years). I will lose that camaraderie, that sense of belonging. I’ll have to start over. And my husband will lose his brothers, his friends. So I was sad.
PROBLEM: I was feeling sadness over future changes in my life.
Then I thought about the book I’ve been reading—The Language of Emotions, by Karla McLaren (read more about this book here). In it, I’ve learned that our emotions are messengers. And the message of sadness is that there is something we need to let go of. Well, it all made sense. Of course I was sad because I am going to have to let go of all these things. This great ward. Once I realized the message of my sadness, I didn’t feel sad anymore. I just knew I had a choice. I could let go, feel better, and look forward to a new adventure, or I could keep holding on and feeling sad. It was all up to me. The outcome was in my hands.
I fell asleep after that. And I’ve still been thinking about it all morning, still feeling a little sad, not quite ready to let go. But at peace with a clarity of knowing I am in control of how I perceive the experience. I get to choose.
SOLUTION: I recognized that my sadness was telling me it was time for me to let go of how things were so that I could embrace how things could become.
I remember that after the day of pondering on it all, I was ready to let go. To embrace the future adventure that awaited us. I made the choice to do so, and the sadness left. I was now at peace with the changes, and I even looked forward to what was coming.