We made another start yesterday and it got me thinking about how we are constantly beginning things. In fact, life is a series of starts because we end things, or come to the end of things, or have endings forced on us, all the time! Unless it is the final end there will be a new start to go with it.
Beginnings and endings make growth. It doesn’t matter how long you have lived, how much you have learnt. Every place you’ve been to on the journey of life leaves a mark. Some marks, like wrinkles or less muscle mass, are visible as we grow older. Others, though not visible, like more patience, more confidence in our abilities, and a greater willingness to fight for what we believe in, are discernible even if not obvious.
Just because we don’t see the marks left by our beginnings and endings doesnt mean others can’t. If we stop to listen and reflect, we too can see the marks that others tell us about.
Voluntary endings, like leaving a job for greener pastures, or moving from a rented house to one that you own, are, in a sense, easiest. We want them, we foresee them, we plan for them, we invest in them and we know exactly when they will commence. And, usually, they are an improvement compared to what we are leaving behind.
Endings that are forced on us must be endured. We may struggle for a while as we try to make sense of them. Such endings are often sudden, like death; or unexpected, like a retrenchment. We need to look deep to find the opportunities that such endings bring. Inevitably, those too are followed by new beginnings. Depending on how we navigate the transition the new beginnings may or may not lead us to a ‘better’ place.
We get to the third group of endings by virtue of being alive. They are natural transitions which we cannot postpone or stop. Depending on your approach, they may appear to come suddenly, catching you unawares, or you could anticipate and plan for them. Sometimes we don’t recognise them as endings, and are surprised to find that we started something new without realising it. This happens, for example, when children move onto a new phase of their lives and you find that they don’t need you in the same way.Your head might recognise the transition, but your heart lags behind, or vice versa. You may want to hold onto what was, and struggle to redefine your relationship. Or you may simply float into a new status.
Don’t be surprised if you are ‘feeling funny’ about some changes. It’s your body, mind, spirit or any combination of the three, trying to adjust. Soon enough you will recognise another beginning. Or an end. Whatever the case, don’t let the opportunity to move intentionally and purposefully into a new place elude you. remember, all the endings and beginnings in your life are connected.
“The best endings resonate because they echo a word, phrase, or image from earlier in the story, and the reader is prompted to think back to that reference and speculate on a deeper meaning.” – James Path