When we think about the beginning of something, usually something exciting comes to mind. The start of a holiday is always filled with the thoughts of adventure, a new relationship is saturated with the honeymoon phase, the nervous jitters of a new job is often tempered with possibility.
When we think about something ending, usually unpleasant thoughts are quickly enveloped with feelings we wish to avoid. Endings bring about change and a new and potentially uncomfortable reality; they remind us of the fragility present in our lives, the passing of time and how unpleasant being out of our comfort zone really is.
And yet endings are a necessary part of our life’s experience:
- Endings signify transition. We can’t avoid transitional periods in our lives; good ones (birth of a new baby) or painful ones (death of a loved one.) Endings allow us to envelope a new reality; one that allows us to integrate the transition into our lives in order to adjust our comfort zone.
- Endings allow us to gather strength. When we spend time grieving, when we give the loss adequate space, we give ourselves the gift of a strengthened spirit. We tend to not sweat the small stuff quite as much as we used to.
- Endings allow us to move forward. With every beginning, we have the gift of choice. With every ending, we also have the ability to choose.
- Endings allow us to see the beginning. It is never quite so clear at the ending; after all, we must give ourselves the time to let go. But in looking back, we can often see that the ending brought about a different purpose for us. One we may not have chosen, but have gathered strength in along the way.
Beginnings and endings are a part of our journey. Change is a part of our reality and sometimes we have no choice but to adjust our sails and reset our course. As Lazarus Long quoted “Great is the art of beginning, but greater is the art of ending.”
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