5 RULES FOR TURNING ENDINGS INTO NEW BEGINNINGS
Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end. You know this, and yet when you’re in the thick of an unexpected or unwanted ending, it’s hard to see where the new path begins. And that’s because you can’t connect the dots of your life’s story looking forwards – you can only connect them looking backwards. Nothing makes perfect sense until it does.
Marc and I have been there several dozen times ourselves – breadwinning job losses, failed businesses, deaths of loved ones, and so forth – and every time, after a needed period of grieving, we pressed forth and life went on. We learned, we grew, and we now take so much less for granted.
The truth is, it happens just like that. What seems like the end of the road is just a cul de sac. It feels like annihilation. It feels like rejection. It feels like failure. But it isn’t. You simply ran out of road on that route. Time to back up, turn around, and look for a new route to get where you want to go. And as long as you keep smiling and moving forward, the road ahead is going to be far better than you can imagine. Because eventually, through all its twists and turns, it leads to the authentic happiness and freedom of an enlightened mind.
So if you’re currently struggling, hang in there. Remember, sometimes the best thing that can possibly happen to you in the long run is not getting exactly what you want right now.
When life changes, and there’s no longer a reason or a way to continue, you must find a reason and way to start over. And there are three little words that can release you from your past pain, ideals and regrets, and guide you forward to a positive new beginning. These words are: “From now on…”
So, from now on…
1. Change your mind. – Change is like breath; it isn’t part of the process, it is the process. In reality the only thing we can count on is change. And the first step toward positive change is to change your outlook. You are not your past losses and failures. You are not how others have at one time treated you. You are only who you think you are right now in this moment. You are only what you do right now in this moment. Sometimes all you need to do is look at things from a different perspective and then take a step in that direction.
2. Appreciate what you have learned. – Nothing is more beautiful and powerful than a smile that has struggled through the tears. Don’t regret your time, even the moments that were filled with hurt. Smile because you learned from it and gained the strength to rise above it. In the end, it’s not what you have been through that defines who you are; it’s how you got through it that has made you the person you are today, and the person you are capable of being tomorrow.
3. Hold tight to the good things. – When life’s struggles knock you into a pit so deep you can’t see anything but darkness, don’t waste valuable energy trying to dig your way out. Because if you hastily dig in the dark, you’re likely to head in the wrong direction and only dig the pit deeper. Instead, use what energy you have to reach out and pull something good in with you. For goodness is bright; its radiance will show you which way is up, and illuminate the correct path that will take you there.
4. Realize that every step is necessary. – It may be hard to accept, but nothing is ever wrong. We learn something from every step. We gain something from every loss. Whatever did or didn’t happen is a necessary component of the present moment. So rest easy with it. Maybe you are not as comfortable as you want to be, or as wonderful as you one day will be; but thanks to all the lessons you’ve learned along the way, you are so much stronger than you used to be.
5. Keep climbing. – Every person who is at the top of the mountain did not fall there from the sky. Good things come to those who work for them. You gain confidence and grow stronger by every experience in which you truly push yourself to do something you didn’t think you could do. If you are standing in that place of in-between, unable or unwilling to go backwards, but too afraid to move forward, remember that you can’t enjoy the view without being willing to climb.
And of course, if you’re struggling with either of these points, know that you are not alone. Many of us are right there with you, working hard to feel better, think more clearly, and live a life free of headaches and heartache.