“Everything has a beginning and an ending. Make your peace with that and all will be well.” ~ Jack Kornfield, Buddha’s Little Instruction Book …
Back in my early twenties, around the time that I was just out of college, I experienced perhaps one of the greatest and most defining realizations of my life. I was experiencing series of fast paced events and as I sat one evening reflecting, it dawned on me that we as humans tend to live our lives in chapters. I can separate much of my life into chapters–a beginning of a chapter, all the stuff that comes in between, and then an ending for said chapter. And because of this phenomenon, I realized that to begin a new chapter, the current chapter must always come to an end.
The many chapters of our lives help to contribute to the whole of our life in general. They help determine a lot of our character, and our integrity, and therefore are part of the decisions we tend to make. Without having these chapters to help define us, we would be unable to be exactly who we are today. Thus, when the time arrives, it is important for us to be able to let go of those chapters in our lives that are coming to an end. But because of the deep emotional and spiritual bonds we possess in our current lives, this is often times very difficult–a breakup in a relationship, a change in our lifestyle, the death of a loved one.
Yet when we are able to look at life in this way, we will find it much easier to deal gracefully with each change that must happen in our lives. When a close friend moves away, we will find that we are better able to deal with the loss as the friendship moves on into a new territory. And although losing a job can be quite a challenge–it may have financial ramifications that truly alter the landscape of our current situation–if we see it as an ending of one situation that has now opened up our life in a new way, we may be able to gracefully search out a new beginning that may be just what we were in need of.
With the world teaching us not to let go of things we love, it can seem overwhelming to undertake changes in our lives. Yet everything in life has a beginning and an ending. And often times we cannot be where we are today without letting go of the people and things from the closed chapters of our lives. Above all, it is important to remember that the people and the things we love are not lost, for they have given us great amounts of love over time and have left enduring marks on our hearts. Perhaps the next chapter we begin in our lives is our time to give of the love we have received back to those around us.
Take a moment to reflect on the current chapters in your life. If you can think of any that you may be holding on to, ponder what may be required to close that chapter and how this may open up new beginnings in your life.
Questions to consider:
What kinds of chapters have ended in your life recently? Have you been able to start new chapters in those areas yet?
Why are we so constantly taught to hold on to things as if they will never end?
How might we deal with the endings in our lives in ways that acknowledges the endings and celebrates the beginnings they allow?
For further thought:
“Every time you let go of something limiting, you create space for something better.” ~ Stephen C. Paul, Illuminations