Recently, a friend was so captivated by a book that they just couldn’t not talk about it. The passion with which they spoke was so compelling that I couldn’t wait to read it.
The topic? Endings.
My enthusiasm toward the opportunity to examine the concept of “endings” in my life was authentic, but mixed with a great measure of apprehension. I had a sense that I was going to be invited to experience some pretty uncomfortable feelings that I’d spent a lifetime developing adaptive behaviors to avoid. Of course I have virtue-laden prose to describe my discomfort of endings; why, most of the time I’ve got myself convinced my reluctance of initiating endings is a strength.
I approached the read with trepidation.
Truth be told, a couple of weeks earlier I’d been visiting someone in the hospital and they’d actually said it. “You suck at leaving, you know?” Ouch.
So I began to read, and there I was, exposed in every chapter. And just after I began the book, a big life change opportunity presented itself and I was immediately living in the tension of what I was reading. What!? As the details of the opportunity were explored, it became clear my path was about to take an unexpected turn, and require me to instigate and negotiate my way through a very difficult ending.
I read voraciously to gain as much encouragement as I could find in those pages, threw my normal caution to the wind, and walked into the required ending.
I’ve begun to learn several things as I’m walking through this ending.
- Initiating the ending well required that I really believe endings are part of the path of growth
- Though it just sounds like such a trite cliche, endings are a necessary step toward new beginnings
- Endings may bring pain and sadness for loss, but those feelings are a powerful reminder of how rich and valued that which is lost is to me, and what a priceless gift those things have been to my journey
- I’ve begun to recognize a bit of the strength that comes from walking intentionally into and through an ending toward a new beginning
How are you at endings? What does the process of preparing for and implementing endings look in your life? What have you learned?