Beginnings are always welcomed with great fanfare. I betray my age in saying this, but we often forget that a group of wise men once said: “every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end.”
The way we address endings can range from apathy to anger, or from relief to rage. When things come to a close, it is not rare that we look to the future with fear or anxiety.
The pandemic has led to many endings: many people have lost their jobs, their ways of life, their loved ones, and even their own lives. But because 2020 was so peculiar, we also had a hard time processing what have happened. Everything happened so fast and so many things happened at the same time.
Closure is difficult to get if you do not acknowledge the loss. Acknowledging our loss grants us permission to grieve. And when we know what we are going through, which is grief, the are able to process endings better, whether they are relationships, a time gone by, an experience, or a way of life. When we grieve, we attain closure.
In processing endings, we have to remember that it is important to be grateful. In yoga, the chaos of endings are not seen as “bad” but as necessary. The god Shiva represents the idea of the “destruction” but we should also remember the other aspect he represents, which is “transformation.”
To destroy is to deconstruct, to bring something back to its building blocks. Many of us are beginning the new year with that “back to basics” mentality. Last year has taken away so much that it has stripped us to our core. But maybe, this is what we need right now. Maybe the sum of all our smaller parts can be greater than our old whole. And maybe it’s something we can be grateful for.