“New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings.”
So true! Going to college. Getting my first job. Going to the seminary to study for the priesthood. Leaving priesthood to enter a relationship. Leaving a full time job to begin my own business.
All new beginnings. All with endings that preceded them. Some endings were excruciatingly painful, while others may not have been as painful. But, none-the-less, there was some kind of pain involved.
Leaving home. Leaving studies to enter the workforce. Leaving the country to study in Belgium. Leaving a vocation I loved and was quite good at. Leaving job security for a new venture.
I wonder if in the excitement of the new beginning we dismiss or don’t take notice of that which is coming to an end?
My relationship with my family as I have known it was going to change when I left for college.
My life of studies and college would change to a 9-5 work day...and no homework!
My life in the workforce ended and I entered studies and discernment for ministry.
My life and world as a single man would become filled with another person.
My 9-5 daily work life now changes to managing my own hours and time.
A lot of external changes, but oh so many more internal changes. My emotions/feelings. My body. My experience of the world. My experience of myself as I moved into these new beginnings.
I have found that in the process of beginning something new, attention also needs to be given to that which is ending - relationships as we know them, daily contacts, my schedule, my time, my money and resources, my feelings, and my very self.
I find that in staying with, or reflecting on my endings, I have gained much wisdom about that which is going away, as well as that which my body is feeling. My head may say, “I’m ready! Let’s do this!” But, my body and my emotions may be saying, “Wait. We need to grieve this, feel this, take this in and really experience it.” The painful ending is about saying goodbye to that which has been. To the ways that we have “known” others, the world, and most definitely ourselves. Sometimes we are not good at saying goodbye because it can resemble a death. Dying to something that is going away so that something new can emerge.
Transitions in life have both endings and beginnings. And these transitions have all kinds of emotions, from sadness to anger to joy and exhilaration! I have been through many transitions and can attest to all of this. Never easy, but always worth it because I have grown through each of these transitions. They have contributed to the person I am today, and I would not want to change any of it.
What kind of a transition might you be immersed in right now? How can I help you with it?
In the end, it is always a new beginning, and it will always have so much more to it than just the sparkly new thing. It will involve growth pangs and your entire being. After all, the new beginning is really about you anyway.