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Updated: Jan 20, 2022

This article has been reviewed by Nick Kerry, Systemic Psychotherapist & Psychodynamic Counsellor

Change. UGH! Just the word may make you cringe knowing the rug is getting pulled out from under you, snaring you, forcing you to walk into the unknown. For many of us change is one of the most difficult constants in life to witness, accept and move through. Coping with known change, like a best friend moving away is hard enough to handle, but what about unexpected change? How self loving are you when hit with unexpected change? Things like betrayal, rejection, death, cruelty from a trusted space, serious illness, loss of business, financial upheaval are just some examples of unexpected changes that will truly challenge even the most disciplined self loving person.

Many of us are sailing through our days as creatures of habit, happily parking in the same space everyday, drinking the same coffee, enjoying the same dinner on Tuesday nights gives us security, peace and comfort. The fact that we can count on specific stable reoccurring things in our lives brings a deep sense of belonging to the timeline we are living. When the unknown changes rise up and take over our journey a wave of fear, regret, grief surges that may be deeply damaging to our mental-emotional self.

While it will feel very lonely when facing unexpected changes, rest assured that every person you look at has faced deeply unsettling changes to their life path. Things that have caused them to struggle and even reassess their options. Below are twelve tools specifically selected by Nita, founder of Infinity Nation to help you connect to yourself and begin the journey of healing. She's gathered these because they have been her lifeline as she traveled out of domestic abuse and through three years of the rolling changes that came with navigating a life rebuild in therapy. Unlearning highly toxic behaviors set as normal in early childhood, put her on a path of constant challenge, change and unexpected losses as she began to set boundaries and become self aware. These valuable tools deepened her journey of finding and filling her own self worth, embracing, seeing, and honoring her own needs which eventually allowed her to stop the cycle of mental-emotional pain and begin to accept change as a healthy part of living an authentic life.

As you go through this list, pick any that resonate and commit to them, but not to merely trying them once, train yourself to try and try again before giving up and walking away from an opportunity to help yourself. Research has shown that it takes 21 days to build a habit and 90 days to build that habit into life choices that we continue to do for the rest of our lives. Knowing this, give yourself time. Time to accept, heal and grow through the emptiness you feel. Leave a note in comments to let others know what worked for you and how you personalized the tools below to get a maximum value from them.


It is a powerful kindness to yourself to allow the simple act of space to accept what has happened. Do not harshly judge anyone or anything during this initial shock, especially yourself! By letting the full weight of your loss sink in without the need to react or do anything about it, we are evidencing to our authentic self that we are worthy of thought, reflection, meditation, time and space. The change has already happened, so while we may desperately want a different outcome, ending, or story line, the facts are, that this is the one we must come to grips with before anything else. Sit within the change and allow your body to come to accept the mental-emotional and physical responses. Honor the need to find a calm with the news you've received.


Time gives insight and perspective, so while our natural instinct may be to rebuke a hurt and protect our ego, if we are able to find the courage to allow time to pass without harshness of return we may often find answers that we did not see at first glance when we were so hurt. It is quite possible that we've been hiding our view about what was so unexpected and that given a bit of time to calm our mental-emotional-physical system we gain peace and frame of reference to the hurt and pain that hit and consumed us.


You are hurt, in shock, and possibly in denial. The pain is real. Sit with these and take time. Journal about it, talk about it to a close trusted person that might even be a therapist or coach. Be real about your feelings. Do not hide or deny what has happened, or the hurt that you are suffering. Denial will only prolong your inability to accept what's happened and explore a path forward. Be open to the reality of the situation. For example if you're facing a serious illness to a family member, do not turn away from the implications of the changes that have happened or will be coming to you and them. If you've lost a trusted space, ask yourself if there is any truth to why they left you behind? This honest assessment is our only hope to move forward with a balanced, mental-emotional-physical health, and with the courage you have for facing up to the darkest parts of yourself, you'll be rewarded with your intuition and authenticity deepening during this healing phase of growth.


You've suffered a hit, it's tempting to hide under your covers and never see the light of day again, yet, we all know that is never going to help, so it's time to slow down and give yourself some TLC (tender loving care). This is a great time to take that long bath with scented bath salts and your favorite fiction writers new book to deeply relax while your mind is engaged and unable to spin out of control on your loss. Long bath not really your style, but love running? Go run! On the condition that you find a way to engage your mind, be it music, a digital book, or with a buddy to chat about that new action movie you both watched. The point is to remove yourself from the loss for a little bit of time and realize that you are worthy of self love and self loving activities while establishing that you have an active life outside of the change that you are struggling with. It is vital that you explore, find and invest in your value and worth. It is crucial that you do not engage in self destructive behaviors during this time that you are hurting. Alcohol, sex, drugs, food are a few options that might have an allure to numb the pain you are feeling, but any type of escapism only serves to prolong the pain and emptiness you are feeling so avoid these types of alluring pitfalls.


It may sound to simple or even lame to acknowledge it, you're living it right!? Allow it the weight it needs to take up in your life. It's a big change, so don't pretend you're okay. To help you through the dark chaos you're experiencing the very act of acknowledging the change can do wonders for accepting, processing and moving through it. Let's explore with an example of the old adage, "not all friendships are meant to last forever" and how devastating the loss of an important trusted person is to us. For whatever reason the friendship is over and you did not see that coming, yet it is clear either by the words spoken by your friend that it's over, or, by their actions changing that they are no longer interested in the same give and take you once shared. When we stop the "why" questioning and fighting the new reality and say "Okay, I see this happening and while I don't understand, I do see they have changed. Seeing them exit is enough for me too accept that I am me, not them. I am worthy of friends who want to share time with me, respect me as a person, and communicate with me." By changing the dialogue and simply acknowledging the change we may take the power away from the hurt and invest it into our value and worth as determined by us.


There comes a point when we must simply accept the reality of the change thrust upon us. If we never accept a serious illness diagnosis we will miss out on opportunities for treatment and courses of action that might be time sensitive. By accepting it, it does not mean that we agree with what happened, or are ready to let go of the pain, those are real and there is real work to be done within you to grow out of the hurt. It is a necessary to accept the reality of the new that the change is making you face in order to find a healthy self loving life filled with your own purpose and passion.


When we're hurt, the last thing on our mind is to give credence to the other perspectives of our circumstance. Nothing is ever as simple as the mono-vision that our hurt, ego and need to preserve our sense of self thrust in front of us, there are always many reasons to any outcome and having the courage of self explore and work to accept all the reasons that the change occurred will not only make you a stronger, healthier self-reliant individual, it will take away your ego led hurt attached to the timeline of personal decisions that got to this point of loss. Shame may be just one of the hurts filling you with a myopic view of events that led up to the change you're surviving, and the gift of allowing in all the perspectives, perhaps with the assistance of a therapist or coach will help bring understanding, acceptance and peace. Should you choose to walk this alone, never set your journal too far away from you as it will help move you through your emotions, hurt, pain and bring you peace and light. Nita's experience was that finding the right specialists, who were highly knowing in her mental-emotional disconnects helped open her heart, mind and soul to broader ideas of self than she would have ever found on her own. "I will always have a therapist and or coach to learn from and keep me moving forward in my journey of living life" Nita shared. "It's too much to think we have all the tools to survive and thrive through life altering events."


You have had a unexpected change that has brought about a loss and it is likely that you've already dipped in and out of some of the stages of grief. The five stages are; denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. There is no order to grief. No right. No wrong. No rules to follow. Grief needs to be processed or it will sit within you and disrupt every part of the life you have been gifted to live. Nita recounts, "I recall a particularly hurtful loss of a best friend where I became stuck in the numbness and denial that this change was happening, or rather, had happened. There were no words saying "It's over" but the actions were screaming it at me loud and clear, I just couldn't accept it. I stayed right there in "no!" land until I acknowledged that what was happening to me was actually under the name of grief. Once I accepted that I was worthy of grieving this loss that I could not understand, I was able to move through these stages and dive deep into them. The simple act of allowing myself to grieve the loss, started my walk down a path of increasing self worth, self love and self reliance."


There is always a positive. It may be the memories made, shared and cherished in your heart, but, there is always something to cherish as you accept the change that has occurred. It may take some time to accept the positives, and that is okay because this is your journey and you get to take the time you need to travel the road. Just know that a guide might help, challenge and inspire you to find your way through the journey that you must travel.


Talk nice to yourself. Sounds easy doesn't it? Now...try it. Find a quite space and focus deeply on listening to that voice inside you that tells you all the good (or, bad) it sees in you. I hope that you find a healthy amount of positive talk in this listening activity, but if you are hearing the negative self loathing, self doubting voice that is deepening the hurt you are suffering, then this exercise is for you. It's simple. Be kind to you. Talk kind, do kind things, start an affirmation journal, take extra care and most of all give yourself a break from all the hustle of living life. An unexpected change may require that we slow down life and allow ourselves the time to process all that we're feeling and experiencing. Skipping over the need to be kind to our self will destroy the threads of self love that we have hanging on through this change.


Take a break from all your normal activities. Remove yourself from social media and other peoples thoughts, questions, words, actions about our life and things that they know nothing about. You need time away from expectations of others. This is a highly self loving action and one that will help you calm the chaos of pretending that everything is "normal" when for you it's anything except normal. Also, no guilt here. There is nothing to feel guilty for the act of prioritizing you into the front and center of your life.


As difficult as it may be to think that anything good will ever happen again, pledge to be open to the new. Open your journal and write " I WILL BE OPEN TO NEW THINGS". Be open to the possibilities of life. To the possibilities of living. With every change there will come something after it, that gives you an opportunity to become more in touch with your authentic self and the person that you want to share with the world. Look for the new, and when you see it, embrace the idea that the new might be what was supposed to come along for you all the time. Joy is within us, even in our darkest moments it is there, just dormant until you allow it to surface and shine again.

The idea that there is living on the other side of the hurt and pain that an unexpected change thrusts upon us is almost too much to take within in the beginning. As though the pain we are feeling is a kind of sacrifice to honor and atone the greater loss we've endured, yet, when we look back on these hurts that we have endured, it is with clarity of mind that we see how our soul has grown in a way that we could never have imagined before this experience.

Face your pain with arms wide open and take within all that comes. Hide from none of it and look in all those dark corners with the courage of a thousand warriors until you are whole and able to see the positives of the experience and walk tall with self love and just enough pride to bring you strength of self.

Always remember that seeking an anchor, or guide in your storms is a courageous choice that will help you maneuver the hurt with depth and speed if you're willing to do the work, trust in the guide and be true to what the light revels within you.

Written by Nita Kruger

Nita is a writer, certified connection coach and intuitive consultant specializing in helping her clients find their purpose, passion and taking life to the next level of walking within their dreams. A mother of five she is a driven and heartfelt creator who founded Infinity Nation and NOAH to help others break generational cycles of trauma and live healthy lives. Connect with Nita today.

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