As the school year comes to a close, I am reminded how the endings of our lives are also new beginnings. My son is finishing his 5th grade year and will be going off to middle school in the fall. He is thrilled to be moving to a new school and is fully embracing this exciting time in his life. But as his mom, a part of me is sad that he is growing up so fast. Because he is graduating from elementary school, it somehow feels like I’m saying good-bye to his childhood. Yet, this ending is also an incredible new beginning - one where he will discover many things about himself and continue to grow into the amazing man he will become. Watching his eager anticipation of this important transition in his life, I know he is ready, and that makes me very happy indeed.
Transitions, like the one my son is experiencing, are a part of all of our lives. Whether it is changing jobs, moving to new homes, losing loved ones, or simply getting older - we experience endings that lead us to new beginnings. When we leave something behind, it opens us up to something new. Yet, transitions are sometimes difficult. When changes need to be made in our lives, we often don’t want to make them. We want to stay comfortable or keep things the way they have always been. But that’s not the way life works. Change is one of the few guarantees we have in this life. So it is important for us to remember that no matter how difficult transitions can be, they can also bring us new opportunities for growth. We may need to learn new computer skills, start cooking healthy meals, plant container gardens, or join social clubs. When we allow ourselves to be open to these opportunities, we may even realize our own inner strengths that have been there all along.
Transitions enable us to see our lives in a whole new light. In the midst of transitions, we may suddenly appreciate the people or things that have been present in our lives that maybe we had not noticed before - kind co-workers, meaningful employments, friendly neighbors, or even loving families. When we experience endings in our lives, our appreciation and gratitude are usually enhanced. We see the world with new eyes - glimpsing possibilities that we weren’t able to see before. Transitions also teach us many life lessons. They help us appreciate all the things that we have been given and enable us to look toward the future with newfound hope and optimism. They also remind us to stay in the moment, willingly experiencing all the joys and sorrows of life, for it is often through our sorrows where we develop empathy for one another. Our endings become our new beginnings as we move from one cycle to another - the death and re-birth of ideas, relationships, businesses, and eventually our lives. We cannot hold onto things forever; we must learn to let them go.
This week, think about the lessons your transitions have taught you. What transitions have you experienced in your life? Were they easy or were they difficult? What helped you through them? How did one ending lead you to brand new, even better, beginning? Change is always going to be a part of our lives. We cannot prevent that from happening. So, embrace your transitions and see what lessons they have to teach you. You can’t grow if you aren’t willing to reach for your highest potential. Transitions are opportunities - don't let them pass you by. Reach out and grab what’s right in front of you, even if it’s a little scary. Just like my son, grow into the person you were made to be. Let go and know that all will be well when you fully experience life and learn the lessons, for they may just help you see your world in a whole new light.