It’s often said that the only constant in life is change.
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And while change is very common, it’s not always easy. I’ve experienced a lot of change over the past year. I changed jobs, moved to a new country, and gave up almost everything that made me feel safe and secure (except for three things: my husband, my cat, and my house). When figuring out what to do with all of our possessions before we moved, my husband and I decided to keep our house as an investment property. We rented it out and enjoyed the idea of someone paying our mortgage for us.

That is, until our tenant stopped paying rent.

What ensued has been nothing short of a nightmare full of angry phone calls, sleepless nights, and legal paperwork. A few weeks ago, our tenant broke her lease and left us with a vacant house in desperate need of some TLC. And, after much consideration, we’ve decided to sell the house—a change that I’m not completely comfortable with.

Throughout this process, I realized that I’ve been using my house as a security blanket. Why? Because it’s the final thing tying me to my old life. I owned that house for seven years, and I always figured that if things didn’t work out for me in Boston, I would move back there. I got married while living there. I got my PhD while living there. I found out my parents were splitting up while living there. I went through my stepfather’s death while living there. I started jobs, ended jobs, started my own business, stepped back from my business. In that house, I hosted parties, had friends over for BBQs, smiled, laughed, cried, and everything in between. Now, the walls are dirty, the floors are wrecked, there’s graffiti in the garage, and the backyard is a pile of weeds. (Time for some renos!)

Part of me is crying, “No, no, no, you can’t give this up! This is your home. You belong here.”

Another part of me is arguing, “Let it go. It’s just a physical possession. You have a new life, a new place to be.”

But who am I without my old life?

Here’s another example. I’ve had my belly button pierced since I was in my early twenties. Back then, I felt rebellious and cool. When I met my husband, however, he told me that he wasn’t really into piercings or tattoos. So, as a compromise, I made my piercing smaller, but I always kept it. Well, a few weeks ago, my piercing somehow made its way out of my belly button and fell into the toilet at work. For a brief moment, I panicked and actually considered reaching into the toilet to get it. Thankfully, my rational brain took over, and I flushed it away. The next morning, I looked at my belly in the shower, and I felt so strange. It felt like part of me was gone, and I’m not sure whether it’s a part of me that I’m going to replace. Interestingly, the day after I lost my piercing, I came across an article by one of my friends in which she explains how she feels her piercings were getting in the way of her prana/energy flow. A sign, perhaps?

Still, part of me feels like a snake being forced to shed its skin before it’s ready. Perhaps you feel the same way. Maybe your lover left you, or you got laid off.

Whatever change you’re going through, here are some tools that are helping me cope.

1. Surrender and Trust

When my mind gets bogged down in all of the details around selling my house, I try to make a conscious effort to stop, close my eyes, take a deep breath, and surrender. I need to trust that this situation is working out for my highest good, even if I can’t figure out exactly how. Sometimes, when we’re stuck in our old ways, the universe forces our hand. In other words, it makes decisions for us that we might not have had the courage to make ourselves.

2. Open to Possibilities

I know this is horribly cliche, but I truly believe that everything happens for a reason. And when I look at it rationally, selling my house opens a lot of possibilities for me. I’ll be able to pay off my student loans and enjoy some financial comfort. I won’t have to worry about maintaining my property. It means there is nothing physical tying me to my old city, which means I can choose to live anywhere. There might even be possibilities opening up for me that I’m not aware of yet. The point is to stay open to whatever is coming.

3. Affirm

Another tool that’s been helping with my stress is affirmations. Two that I’ve been using quite a bit are: “Everything is always working out for me” by Cheryl Richardson, and “All is well. Everything is working out for my highest good. Out of this situation, only good will come, and I am safe” by Louise Hay. Saying these words tends to shift my energy from panicked to relaxed.

I’m sure that after all of this is over, I’ll have a great story for you that shows exactly why I needed to sell my house and how it all worked out with perfect timing. Until then, I’m doing my best to be the nonjudgmental witness of my experience. I’m using my discomfort as a tool that’s teaching me more about myself.

What about you? Are you going through a change that’s uncomfortable? What tools are you using to cope? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

Bethany Butzer, Ph.D. is an author, speaker, researcher, and yoga teacher who helps people create a life they love. Check out her book, The Antidepressant Antidote, follow her on Facebook and Twitter, and join her whole-self health revolution.

If you’d like tips on the topic of manifesting your dream job, plus some personal instruction from Bethany, check out her online course, Creating A Life You Love: Find Your Passion, Live Your Purpose and Create Financial Freedom.

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