We can learn much by observing nature and its phases. We can compare the seasons of our life with the four seasons of the year. Spring is a time of birth, rebirth, and growth. Summer is the time to experience and enjoy that growth. Fall is the waning of said growth, which leads us to the cold, darkness, and death of winter. The cycle of phases then begins again with spring and further birth and rebirth. These phases happen over a year’s time.
The same can be said by comparing the phases of the moon. The crescent moon waxes (phase one, compare to spring) to the full moon (phase two, compare to summer), which wanes (phase three, compare to fall) to the new moon (phase four, compare to winter). How beautiful it is to think that the new moon phase is called “new?” It is followed the newness of the waxing phase which brings on more light, yet comes after the midst of darkness. These phases happen over a month’s time.
Likewise, our life involves one long series of similar phases. We are born. We grow. We experience the growth. We age and lose abilities we once had. We pass away. These phases happen over a lifetime.
TYPES OF HUMAN PHASES
The childhood phase includes birth, growth, experiencing the growth, the loss of childishness, which leads to the birth of our teenage years. Each age has its own phases. For example, from teenage years, we phase into the young adulthood years, which has several phases itself, which may or may not include being single, to the educational phase, to professional, to relational, to being children and child rearing, and the like. From young adult we move to middle adult, then to median adult, and finally to senior adult.
Likewise, you can break these phases into many other types of phase not mentioned here. Regardless, we are always in transition through and into phases in life, just like the seasons in a year and the monthly phases of the moon.
With the cycle of each phase comes the process of grief. The death of a phase requires us to grieve well in order to embrace the birth of a new phase. Even moving into new and exciting phases, such as graduation from high school, require a period of grief. Mourning the loss of an experience combined with the anxious awaiting of a new one. Those who grieve the phase “well” are more healthy as they move into the new phase.
So how do you “grieve well?”
There are many different theories of grief available to help understand the process of “grieving well.” The most popular of which comes from Kubler-Ross. Regardless of the theory to which you ascribe, here are some common stages to consider that I find useful; Denial, Anger, Sadness, Survivor’s Guilt, Acceptance, and Transformation.
Each of these phases could have a blog unto themselves (perhaps they will come one day). Regardless, consider them as you work through the emotions of moving through your phases of life. Understand that to “grieve well,” you will most likely experience most if not all of these stages and perhaps others. You may move in and out of these phases several times, before moving to the most important stage, which is transformation. Transformation is the most effective way to welcome the next new phase in your life.
In today’s new world, filled with chaos and covid, these phases can be even more exacerbating. Here are a few tools for emotional grounding. In the meantime, grieve well, my friends. In doing so, you may be able to find the newness and growth that come from the next phase for which you are being prepared.