Over the past few months, I’ve witnessed many endings and new beginnings. Some have been in my own life, some have been in the lives of others. Some have been long anticipated, some not wanted. The unwanted endings look very different than the anticipated ones. They are more fear-filled and dreaded.

Here are some of the endings and new beginnings I’ve witnessed:

  • A couple celebrating his graduation from vet school, which means a new profession for him, as well as moving back to the community where she grew up. They are leaving their first home of four years, her career and professional connections, many dear and close friends that they’ve grown to love and count on. They will receive the support of family close by, a new career where the vet is in great demand, and new professional possibilities for the wife.
  • Weddings and anticipated weddings; leaving singlehood behind for the commitment and connection of married life.
  • Retirement, sometimes long-anticipated and sometimes quickly decided. One retiree expressed the letting go with this comment, “What do I do with myself now?” This was less than a week into retirement after an extremely demanding career. I have no doubt he’s found an answer to this question now.
  • Change in work location, which means a new team, new building, new commute and new routine.
  • Missing someone who is no longer part of the group, because her marriage – to a member of the group – broke up.
  • A career change after a long struggle to achieve in the corporate world and finding it not a good fit. They experienced success, but the cost wasn’t worth it.

Making room for the new requires releasing the old. We don’t have to release everything, but we must let go of something we currently have to move into the new.

Think of it this way: In order to receive something new being presented to you, you must open your fist. You can’t hold tightly to what’s in your fist, while desiring something new. Go with me on this. Close your hand into a fist. Can you hold something in your hand with your hand tightly closed? I can’t. I have to open my hand to hold anything in it.

What do you need to let go of so you can receive something new?

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