Some days, it feels like my life has been nothing but a series of endings.
Maybe it feels like that for a lot of people.
There were friendships that ran their course. Relationships that ended in spectacular fashion. Family bonds that slowly unraveled until nothing was left. Jobs that no longer fit my life or my dreams. People I loved who died or had to go away or chose something other than me.
Each one an ending that rocked me, to some degree.
And I’ll let you in on a little secret: I’m not someone who handles change well.
When I’m feeling happy or settled or comfortable in a relationship, I crave more of the same. I want that feeling to last forever. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it…right?
But the universe doesn’t always work that way. Sometimes, even when we’re happy and settled and comfortable and can’t imagine our relationships being any better than they are right now, life decides that this particular chapter needs to come to an end. Or we find out the other person isn’t as happy and settled and comfortable as we had hoped. Or circumstances outside our relationship change causing an unexpected loss.
Like I said, nothing but a series of endings.
And when the end comes, regardless of whether it’s something I chose or something that was chosen for me, I tend to dig my heels in. I want to slow down the inevitable ripple effect that occurs when one thing in our life ends and suddenly every aspect of every day feels different and uncertain, and we wonder if we’ll ever be able to feel solid ground under our feet again.
The change, even when it ultimately works out for my benefit, feels frightening at first. My mind keeps the what ifs and worst-case scenarios on a running loop, and I find myself longing for my life, pre-ending.
But over the past few years, I’ve been reminded, in big and small ways, of the most important lesson that endings can teach us. Relationship coach Jillian Turecki explains it perfectly here:
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The only way to start over after a relationship ends is to let go of the person we were in that relationship. To grow into this new, changed version of ourselves.
And to embrace that change without digging our heels in and attempting to slow the fall.
Because endings are constant. But that also means new beginnings are often close behind.
And if we’re able to fully accept the endings, or even welcome them—I’m not quite there yet—the beginnings and the new possibilities become easier for our broken, changed hearts to see coming.