“In my end is my beginning.” – T.S. Eliot
We often get stuck on the idea that an “ending” means we’ve lost something. We see endings as what we will no longer have, and not what we will gain from the “beginning” that takes its place.
At work, I have been part of a group for the last two years. We work in all different areas of my organization, but we also have been working on projects together and we get to share other experiences too. This ended a couple weeks ago, and while this means that our partnership is over, it also means that we are all able to go on to other experiences.
Endings really don’t mean loss. An ending means growth. But if we are too focused on what we are leaving behind, it’s easy to miss what possibilities there are in the future.
We are often upset at the endings in our lives, but just think about what your life would be like if nothing had ever ended. You would still functionally be a child!
Circumstances in your life had to end – you graduated from high school, you grew away from your childhood best friend, you left your parent’s home – for you to be where you are now.
So now, when a relationship ends, or you leave a job, or you move to a different city, don’t focus on what you are leaving behind. Focus on what you are moving towards.
When a relationship ends there is now room for a new one, one in which you can apply what you learned in the last one. When you leave a job, there is room for new skills, new projects and new colleagues.
Be careful about avoiding endings in your life, because, in effect, you are avoiding growth. And with new growth (as uncomfortable as that growth can be) always comes a greater sense of fulfillment.
Here are a few things to keep in mind as you experience an ending:
- Close your experience – Do something that brings closure to the situation. Yesterday, at work, we spent time reflecting on our time together and what we learned from that. When we were done, there was a sense that our experience together was over and we could move on.
- Look towards the future – What does the future hold for you? How can you take what you’ve learned and apply it towards the future? These questions will help you be more forward thinking. Realize what your past experience may help you to do in the future.
- Remember that you will do this again in your life – This won’t be the last time you have an ending! Just as you are leaving something behind and going towards something new, you will one day be ready to leave behind that new thing you’re just starting. You will always need a bigger shell. Get ready to keep moving. 🙂
What other tips do you have for dealing with endings? Share your ideas in the comments! Thanks!