This time of year for me has always been about endings. Never more so than this year and so I felt I should share my thoughts. Maybe it harks back to being a child and knowing that the golden carefree days of holiday were over and back to the routine of life. I am not sure.
Perhaps as we see the gardens around us change we are thinking of harvesting the results of our intentions at the start of the year. Have the things we hoped for come to fruition? Have we been disappointed by turn of events or beautifully surprised?
During August I have been somewhat reclusive and have been reflecting on my wishes, hopes and who I believe I am and what I hope to become and do. I give thanks to Mary Anne Radmacher for her support in this.
A fairly unusual place for me to be as I tend to seek to enable others to do this but feel somewhat guilty about indulging this part of myself. Even more reason to do it, I have learnt!
Several things have revealed themselves in the gentle light of reflecting. I now realise that endings are so extremely important and sometimes we need to go back and look in those closed boxes that we would rather not open to see if we can make better sense of things with the passage of time. Those that know me are aware that I became divorced 2 years ago and whilst this has featured in my reflecting, that has only been a part of it. With endings, comes change, whether that is from a separation, bereavement, change of job/ home/health/family circumstances and so on. Change can be big and scary so sometimes we have to store the tricky bits away for a while so we can just manage it in small bite sized chunks until we are ready to take a look in the box.
When we are able to start to look in the box and begin to embrace the change, we ourselves, change, and our energy that we resonate, with it. As being part of the “oneness” this resonation in turn affects others and sometimes, as a result, things just do not seem to fit as they did and I think this is a large part of what we fear. As human beings I believe we like sameness (as much as we claim to rail against it!), predictability and routine. We struggle with our difference of feeling and are reluctant to consider whether our different selves still are served by what appeared to support them before.
We are frightened. We “fight” to remain the same. We fight our actions, feelings and our very “self” often for the perceived safety that we believe it brings. It is impossible for everything to remain the same.
I am acutely aware of this currently. My aged cat, my reason, is slowly changing and he will leave me soon. As much as I try to imagine and know that this ending will create a new beginning for he and I, I would prefer the sameness and the safety and avoidance of knowing difficult things will be added to the box.
Not all endings are negative; the ending of a time alone, of being childless, the end of an illness for example, but with each ending, a change ensues. It requires something different of us, acceptance, forgiveness, patience, being receptive of the newness but with the knowing that we still have the memories that we can work with or take joy from, as the beginning unfolds.
There are some beautiful writings on this which explain far more eloquently and I would like to share some of these :
“Grief is like a suitcase that appears over night at the bottom of the bed, for the rest of your life you have to carry it everywhere you go. Sometimes the suitcase is SO light you don't really notice it is there at all and sometimes it is SO heavy you just can't get out of bed! Strange things can trigger the suitcases increase in weight - a smell, a piece of music, a memory, a habit or thought (good or bad). Sometimes the suitcase has been so heavy for so long that it wears you down and you don't think life will ever be the same again but one day - one day - you will realise the suit case has been light for a long, long time and when you open it it will be filled with memories that will only make you smile. Grief takes as long as it takes and it is something we all at sometime will share. Be mindful of this and compassionate to those in pain.” Repost by Edwin Courtenay
“The world rests at night. Trees, mountains, fields and faces are released from the prison of shape and the burden of exposure. Each thing creeps back into its own nature within the shelter of the dark. Darkness is the ancient womb. Night-time is womb time. Our souls come out to play. The darkness absolves everything; the struggle for identity and impression fall away. We rest in the night. The dawn is a refreshing time, a time of possibility and promise. All the elements of nature; stones, fields rivers and animals are suddenly there anew in the fresh dawn light. Just as darkness brings rest and release, so the dawn brings awakening and renewal. In our mediocrity and distraction, we forget that we are privileged to live in a wondrous universe. From Anam Cara by John O’Donoghue.
Any finally an excerpt from The Desiderata
“Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline , be gentle with your self. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace with your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.”