June is often the month of many graduations. These celebrations can be bittersweet. When completing an important life passage we can sometimes experience an “in between,” or limbo period. It can be a most challenging time to endure, because there is an element of the unknown that pervades this passage.
For some people the discomfort, or avoidance of this phase, prevents them from moving forward in life.
Consider the person who achieves a four-year degree then goes on to accomplish two more bachelors degrees. I call this the professional student. They stay enrolled in school so they don’t have to actually apply what they are learning to their life’s path and goals. There is an emotional immaturity that is preventing them from graduating and taking the next step of getting a job, or developing their own business. Instead, they play it safe and stay in school. School is familiar, and they are used to the routine. Their personal growth is hindered by limiting their challenges.
Similar experiences can be had in relationships and careers, as well. We all know someone who is very unhappy in their marriage and has been for years but simply won’t leave no matter what. Instead they may complain, whine, or silently suffer. Perhaps on a soul level they have “graduated” from that experience and it is time to move on.
Many of us also know someone who loathes their jobs and constantly complain. The fear of the unknown keeps them trapped and unhappy for years. Perhaps, they graduated high school or college with noble and lofty dreams, then found themselves trapped in a transitional job. There may be a little voice within urging for change, yet it is drowned out by the louder voice of fear and insecurity that says ‘don’t trust life, don’t make changes, stay the same’.
Sometimes, the soul has a way of awakening our potential through the pain and discomfort of the transitional phases of our lives.
Michael Beckwith from the Agape Church in Los Angeles says “the pain pushes till the vision pulls us.” This implies that there is always hope for a new life, a new path, or a new relationship. We must be open to allowing a greater vision of our selves than what we are experiencing now. We may need to get comfortable with the idea of being uncomfortable for a while, as we make this shift.
The reward of graduating from life’s challenges can propel us forward. We may be stronger and more resilient than we think. Life may have some happy surprises for us as we move out of the known and into the mysterious and magical place of the unknown. Be willing to graduate from that which no longer serves you, and fulfill your purpose.