TranSpiration combines “Transition”, “Inspiration” and “Spirituality” and by definition, means water or vapor flowing through a living organism.
ONWARD IN FAITH*
Perspective on the Highs and Lows
Job hunting is rarely satisfying, much less enjoyable. As a coach, I need to be more aware of that reality as I encourage people to look at the positive outcomes:
- Excitement in discovering new truths.
- Confidence from overcoming adversity.
- New relationships with people who truly care.
- Support from those around you.
- Success—and a “reinvented” self as William Bridges says.
All true but when you’re in the trenches, it’s difficult to embrace that wisdom. It sometimes comes after success is achieved. Transitions are characterized by highs and lows.
Ignatius of Loyola knew a thing or two about transition. He went from being a romantic 16th century Spanish knight to a devout priest who founded the Jesuits. His Spiritual Exercises address the positive and negative thoughts which drive our hopes and fears when life changes. He called these thoughts spirits.
Consolation is Ignatius’ term for the presence of the good spirit, providing a time to be satisfied, hopeful and purposeful. Desolation is the evil spirit causing discouragement and depression.
In my battle against lymphoma, I know about these highs and lows.
From Tom’s journal–Fortifications for a cancer Journey*
“Last week I was lost. Today, I feel strong; the cancer is losing the battle for now. My face is not as red or dry. Beloved family is returning home this holiday to give thanks and eat too much. The sun shines. Ignatius teaches about consolation and desolation. These states come and go as the cycles of our lives move. When in consolation, I need to be grateful, joyful—but also know that this is life and it will not last. Prepare, pray. When in desolation, embrace the pain as hard as that is. And work to be hopeful, surrendering to larger forces—and find strength in knowing it does not last. Prepare, pray. Good lessons for me as I look to days ahead.”
Where are you in the cycle of consolation and desolation relating to your transition? What message can you give yourself to help manage the situation? How can you pray and prepare for what might come next?
Thomas Bachhuber, Ed.D.
President of the Board and Executive Director for The Center for Life Transitions. Tom is responsible for overall Center leadership and strategy. His individual coaching/counseling as well as workshops and retreats focus on integrating leading career development ideas with spiritual exploration. Read more.