By Emily Soccorsy
We tend to think of endings as sudden.
But more often, endings are happening, a little bit at a time, all the time.
How does that idea strike you?
For me, it’s simultaneously frightening and freeing.
If asked how I felt about them, I would tell you I don’t like endings. I associate them with pain and change and being unmoored and unsettled. None of those things I particularly enjoy.
I am notorious for holding on, blinders firmly in place, fighting for continuation, looking for ways through – when I am better off just letting a thing, a relationship, an effort, end.
On the other hand, if it is bedrock reality that we are always moving through endings, then I must be getting good at them. I know I can’t avoid them and I’m doing OK handling them. All of these little endings are compiling inside my heart and mind to make me a more complete human being. So, yay me!
This makes me feel empowered and more confident in my actual ability to experience and process endings.
Endings bring with them a gift.
When a thing ends, we are given the ability to assess our contribution. We can look at what we gave, how we contributed, and learn the lessons inherent within those reflections.
I didn’t fully appreciate how much I gave as a co-founder until I became the full owner of my business.
I actually gave more than I thought I had, and I knew I was giving a lot.
I didn’t often stop to reflect on how much I was giving in my role as a parent until my eldest left our home for college.
When she was gone, I suddenly felt, tasted and more fully realized how much of myself I had poured into raising her to be the amazing woman she is.
Always very close to my mom, I never fully appreciated her role in my life until she died. The day she departed, the world and my existence in it inexorably changed, ended and I have never been the same.
Endings may be an outward reality, but the processing of them is an inward job. To truly take in any effort, there has to be a final moment.
That finality gifts us with clarity, appreciation of our own role in our lives and a good dose of truth.
Inside of dreading endings, I am thinking about how I can embrace them and celebrate them.
Like birthdays, endings are a privilege – they symbolize continued life, various experiences and the rise of another gift – beginnings.
So bring on the endings – just make room to process what they mean to you.