The dramatics of upheaval

Upheaval. What does that actually mean? In the search for a meaningful definition, I used the internet. If you look up the word “Upheaval” in the dictionary you can read there: Upheaval, the, “fundamental change, transformation”. If you look at the Wiktionary, it says: momentous (especially social, technical) change, transition. Sounds all very dramatic and big. And very abstract. Perhaps quotations are more like a story. And that makes it more difficult to find something online. Because there are no real quotes of radical change. However, suggestions for the words “change” and “transformation” come automatically. So does transition automatically mean change? If you ask the Thesaurus, the answer is clearly yes. However, the word transition feels more relevant to me. More drama. A milestone. The word change is used almost inflationary. It is omnipresent.

Actually, we are constantly in the process of change

The seasons bring change. The body is constantly changing. Our opinions, moods, wishes and preferences are constantly changing. Well, the more influences you are exposed to from outside, the more profound these changes can be felt. But this does not mean that there is no change when your life flows like a constant stream. Otherwise, couples would not separate after 30 years of marriage, for example, if it had remained the same as on their wedding day. So we can say that change is a part of our existence. And whoever adapts better to change is more stable. Let us look at evolution. Darwin has already said so. So why do changes make us so insecure? Yes, even frighten us? Is it perhaps because the word upheaval is so rarely used because it would trigger a state of shock?

Personal upheavals are rare

When I think about it like that, it’s not such an absurd thought. The upheavals in my life were few and far between and they were memorable. Dramatic. Absolutely relevant. They shook my thinking, my feeling, my being to the core.

The first event took place in 2014. Summer. For my training as a coach I also had to be coached, which I was allowed to do with the fantastic Uta Siebert (coachingcouch.de). The session that triggered a change in me was working on my values and assigning them to family, friends and partners. I don’t want to go into too much detail, it was a very tearful affair. Self-knowledge is powerful. It is frightening. It is cleansing.

Going down the path to self-knowledge in a safe coaching environment is absolutely helpful for everyone!

I have recognised a quality in me whose positive influence on evolution has already been mentioned: The adaptability. But every exaggerated strength becomes a weakness. I have recognised that I have adapted myself to the point of self-abandonment in order to be perfect everywhere. The perfect piece of the puzzle for every occasion. It made me sick. This realization was a milestone for me. It brought about many changes in my life and still influences my thinking, acting and feeling today.

The challenge to find out who I am

The second event was the birth of my son. Or should I rather say the process of motherhood. Finding out who I can and want to be as a mother and connecting that with who I was before. I rarely heard from other mothers that they had their child and everything stayed the same as it was before. Or that everything just went on easy peasy in flow. What I rather hear is: This is hard! I have no more time for myself! I am just a mother, not the woman from before! I have not even come to take a shower! And that does not include sleep deprivation. I have found it an incredibly enriching and absolutely exhausting time to find my flow again. And finding the balance between my individual wishes and needs as a woman and my new thoughts, instincts, desires, values, duties…as a mother.

2 swallows don’t make a summer, they say. Am I now an expert for upheavals? Absolutely not. Can one be that at all? Probably not. Every transformation is individual. So much goes into it. But what I take away with me as an insight is

Upheavals…

… are rare in a person’s life

… are dramatic trend-setting cuts in life

… can be triggered by self-awareness and unprecedented experiences

… must not be ignored or negated

… can be accompanied and processed by coaching and also therapy

… usually come with a bang and then continue

… need patience with yourself

I am very curious to hear about your experiences with upheaval and what you have learned from them. Leave a comment or email me.

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