How to embrace your endings as an opportunity to start again
You only have to take a look outside your window to see that endings are happening all around you right now.
Within nature, every beginning has an ending and all endings signify a new season and a new beginning. Every day tides go out and religiously come back. The leaves turn colour and fall to the ground so that new life can come and new, greener leaves can reveal themselves.
Autumn turns to winter turns to spring turns to summer. And so it continues, every year, without fail. Each natural ending is followed by a beginning and every beginning brings with it the chance for rebirth and to start again, afresh. Nature is reflected in our lives also and we get to experience the same seasons and cycles as well.
Embracing your endings
Every ending I have experienced in my life has always been because something better was coming. I can see that now, although I’m not sure I did at the time. I resisted and refused to see it as anything other than a punishment, for what, I didn’t quite know. What I know now for sure though, is that had my life not been full of endings and changes, everything that I have experienced in my life, everything I have gained and learned, simply could have never happened.
I would not be who I am today. I would not be where I am today. I am exactly where I am now because something in my past changed and something ended. Some people left and some were taken. But those endings enabled me to uncover new opportunities and embrace challenges in my life, and the outcomes I got were always positive, even if they were not always welcome.
I can’t deny that I still don’t find myself wishing I hadn’t experienced quite so many endings. I’ll often catch myself questioning why grief visited me so often, why those I loved most in the world were taken from me, why it all happened to me and not to somebody else? I don’t have the answers yet, but what I do have is greater acceptance that these endings came and what happens next, how I move on from them, is entirely within my control.
Once I learned how to detach from my own drama, I made room for believing in the potential of new beginnings. I began to entertain the idea that maybe all these life-changing events had not just happened to me but I was open to the notion that maybe they happened for me too.
I did not, nor still do not, need to know just why something happened other than to acknowledge that it did. I don’t need to find the meaning in past events, sometimes they just don’t exist and that’s okay too. Things end simply because they end.
Examine your endings
I invite you to do the same and look into your past, explore everything that has ended and view it from the perspective of it has allowed you to be where you are right now. If it hadn’t happened you wouldn’t have what you have right now, you wouldn’t be who you are, with what you have and with what lies ahead of you. The life that you have is the result of many endings. Every single new opportunity and the new challenge that you have experienced was possible because an ending had taken place in your past. It needed to. Can you see that and do you know what they are?
When something ends, something new begins and a new beginning is always a new opportunity to learn, to grow and to evolve. Accepting the end of something as a beautiful chance to start over, to begin again, can really help us as we move into new spaces and places.
Why do we resist endings?
Endings are most of the time incredibly difficult to accept, they can feel unfair and unjust, even if we need that ending to happen, especially if we need it, because change is hard and it is even harder to have to start again. Much of our resistance and fear of endings comes from our total lack of belief and understanding that a new beginning looms.
The difficulty is that we traditionally see the end of something like the end of everything. Does this resonate with you? If so then consider that there is always a reason why things happen in the way they happen and that this is where trust comes in.
You must continue to work hard and trust that the order of things is as it should be because the more you give yourself permission to trust and believe that every ending is a new beginning, the less likely you are to rebel and resist letting go of the past. It follows that the less resistance you have, the less pain you will experience as you navigate the difficulties and challenges that normal everyday life brings.
Be more present
So how can you see an ending as a new beginning and what should you do to ensure you don’t default to rejecting and resisting them in your future? The answer is to do everything you can to live much more fully in the present. What has happened in your past is gone, you cannot change that now and our future is still uncertain. The only place where you can determine what happens next is now.
Now is the time for you to be brave and accept that an ending has occurred and change has happened. If possible, try to view it as though the path that you were on was simply not for you and that this change, this ending is a redirection of that route. Is there anything good you can admit will come out of this ending? Perhaps you could draft a list of all the potential good that can happen now that the ending has occurred.
We are conditioned to welcome new beginnings and are told that we should love them. But that won’t always feel possible. The truth is that we resist endings and do all that we can to delay them.
Endings result in you having to rethink your identity. But this can be the most exciting part. Who do you want to become? Who are you in your new roles? Who are you without that friendship, job or relationship? What if the ending leads to exploring a greater sense of your own self? Entertain the possibility that, in time, this may make you stronger and you will learn so much more about yourself and be richer for it.
Remember an ending is always a new beginning. Therefore, you have the opportunity to start again. You must let go of what is done and what has happened, to create space to allow into your life what is out there waiting for you.
Right now, you have a choice and you can make one of two decisions: You can resist letting go of the ending and cling to it, living in your past full of pain, or you can decide when you are ready to release what is gone and create a new beginning.
Niamh Ennis is Ireland’s leading Change and Transformation coach and founder of The RESET for Change 3 Month 1:1 Private Coaching Programme. You can also join Niamh for her deeply nourishing online workshop ‘RELEASE & Receive on Tuesday, December 14 at 7pm. Secure your space now.