Rituals as a Source of Comfort and Recognition

Posted by: Maritza Rodriguez on February 15, 2012 8:00 am

Last year I saw a play called “Transitions”. It was about how older, established cultures have rituals that celebrate changes and major events in life, such as adolescence, marriage, retirement, growing older, just to name a few. Our modern society has lost many of these ritualistic practices.

It really struck me how unprepared many of us to go through our modern life. We no longer have much direction. Everything is now possible. While this is a wonderful opportunity, it is often an overwhelming predicament for most individuals. Most of us desire at least some direction or at least wise advice.

There is benefit to honoring the transitional phases in our lives. There are often conflicting emotions during a life change. For example, when you graduate there might be mixed feelings of pride and joy for a job well done but anxiety and fear regarding the next stage of your life. This is the opportune time to slow down and recognize the changes that are going on inside and accepting all of them as normal.

A ritual provides the space to respect the challenge and/or phase you have experienced that is ending and a new beginning awaits. Today’s rituals do not to be formal. The can be personalized and solely have meaning for the person undergoing the transition and associated ritual. It can be as simple as discussing the event with a friend, taking time for a meditation or prayer and/or checking off your bucket list in your journal.

Especially since modern society can only guarantee change, a ritual can provide a safe, personalized recognition of growth and transformation. It can offer connection to our own awareness or to another we chose to reach out and share our experience.

A counsellor can provide that connection and insight during this transformative phase in your life. He or she can be objective and supportive during a difficult time of your life. It is always worth reaching out during times of transition to receive acknowledgement of a new beginning.

*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA

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