Endings and Openings
"The failure to identify and get ready for endings and losses is the largest difficulty for people in transition. " - William Bridge
Life is full of endings. There’s the ending of one job for another, ending your single life to marry, ending your life in one home or neighbourhood to relocate to another, the end of a relationship, or the end of a cherished life with the passing of a loved one.
Some endings blindside us while others are intentional. Regardless of the source or nature, it’s natural to want to push past an ending as quickly as possible in an effort to minimize the discomfort and move on to more positive feelings associated with new beginnings.
But endings represent extremely significant turning points and often include some pretty unruly emotional swings. You might feel grief one moment and liberation the next; you could struggle with uncertainty and fear of the unknown and at the same time feel a sense of relief for the ability to move on to the next phase of your life.
In order for something new to begin, something else must end.
While our instinct may be to just jump into the new situation, we are better off first acknowledging what has ended – particularly anything that has to do with a change in our identity.
End Well to Start Well
To resolve endings well means that we can be free to step into the things that open up for us well. William Bridges book "transitions" (a worthwhile read) gives some great questions to ask :
* Now that this change has occurred, what old ways of doing things must I give up?
* What have I lost?
* What needs do I have that will no longer be met?
* How can I meet those needs in other ways?
* Because of this change, what parts of myself and the way I see myself are now out of date?
* How can I grieve these losses?
* What can I do to symbolically say goodbye?
Acknowledging the losses, and creating a way to symbolically or ritually let go of them, can help us to end well so we can indeed start well.
By Natasha Rae