Endings and beginnings
Throughout our lives we are going to experience many beginnings and endings. Some will be painful, others beautiful, and many will be a mixture of both evoking ‘all the feels.’
Beginnings are often exciting, nerve-racking, exhilarating, and fill of anticipation and promise. The start of a new relationship, a new occupation, buying a new home, starting a family, …
In contrast endings can be painful, sad, difficult, and at times heart-breaking. The end of a relationship, losing a job we loved, the end of a dream we harboured, …
Just as a new chapter can only begin with the conclusion of another, in our lives we often won’t get a new beginning without first enduring an ending.
Like many things in life, not all beginnings and endings are made equal. Some beginnings and endings will feel like old and new chapters while we may experience others that feel as if they require an entirely new book.
As I write this our youngest daughter is in her final few weeks of preschool before she starts school. An ending that will precede a new beginning. In some respects I feel prepared for this, but as ‘ready’ as I am for the next chapter, there will be tears and some sadness associated with this ending while we simultaneously grasp the excitement of a new beginning. We can hold more than one emotion – even, or perhaps especially, when they appear conflicting.
It is more nuanced than this, but for the sake of keeping it simple and landing the message, our youngest will not start school and experience all those exciting ‘beginnings’ if her preschool years don’t come to a close. The same is true for us.
We cannot fully grasp a hold of what is next, a new beginning, if we are still clinging to what was, ruminating on an ending.
Many of our new beginnings will only come about because something else has ended. And this will often be painful. In the aftermath of the ‘ending,’ we are initially blinded to the potential of new ‘beginnings’ and all the promise they hold. Our focus and the pain of ‘what was,’ masking the possibilities of ‘what could be.’
Recently I reflected on this as I read the heart-warming tale, ‘Kuwi’s First Egg’ by Kat Quin to my youngest daughter.
‘Why is Kuwi so sad?’ I asked her. ‘Because she finks (thinks) her egg is broken,’ she replied.
This is Kuwi’s first egg and as it begins to crack she attempts to mend it fearing she has not done a good job of caring for it. The cracks continue to appear and Kuwi becomes increasingly upset. The egg beginning to crack feels like the end.
Until the end of the egg, the hatching, becomes the beginning of her little kiwi chick. ‘What could be,’ a new beginning is finally revealed. The end of the egg gave way to a beautiful beginning for Kuwi.
Sometimes what feels like the end, is also an opportunity for a new beginning. Endings can be painful, challenging, and difficult and harbour the potential of new beginnings.
If you are amid a heart-breaking ending, know that when you are ready there are some beautiful beginnings that await you.
As an ending is always followed by another beginning.