Beginnings and Endings

“When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.” – Alexander Graham Bell

It’s true. We humans are funny creatures.

Every ending is also a beginning. And yet…

Sometimes it’s hard to move forward. Of course, sometimes it helps to realize that by refusing to move forward we are choosing to be dragged kicking and screaming.

Change is inevitable. But how much we suffer the changes of life has to do with the degree to which we hold on, to which we try to avoid and deny the inevitable.

That people we love will grow old, and die. That we ourselves will.

That everything is precious.

And sometimes we don’t have as much time as we’d like to think we have, to do the things we want to do.

And I suppose we could let the fear of death, and the gravity of the whole situation immobilize us.

And that itself is a choice.

But if we can use it, if we can embrace the gravity and the fear in a transformational sense, if it can become a catalyst for making the most of the time that we have, then….well, then we might create something really beautiful.

Getting Comfortable with Endings

Yesterday I went to a workshop on funeral pre-planning. I was by far the youngest person in the room. It turned out to be one of the most fascinating, informative, and thought-provoking seminars I’ve ever attended.

As a society, it seems like we are in denial of death. This doesn’t make sense to me. Death is a part of life. And our own death, too, is significant, in the sense that it is a reminder of the fact that we don’t have “all the time in the world.”

And since we don’t, isn’t the time that we have, by virtue of its very finite nature, all the more precious? Considering that few of us, if any, know exactly how much time we have, it seems even more important to not waste it in activities that don’t mirror our highest intentions for ourselves.

One of Stephen Covey’s seven habits is “Begin with the end in mind.” And thinking about your own death is one of the most effective ways to do this.

Imagine…your own funeral. Who is there? What are they saying about you? If you write your own eulogy, you will know how you really want to live your life, and what you want to do with the time that you have here.

Recommended reading – The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen R. Covey