Monday, April 13, 2009

From the End to the Beginning

It's often impossible to experience a new beginning without first going through the process of ending.

A new baby must leave the comfort and security of the womb in order to emerge into the light and air of it's new world. It can't have both the old and the new experiences at the same time.

In school, children move from one grade to the next. They complete one year's coursework and then progress to the next. Each step builds on the previous one.

A ship has to leave the dock in order to take it's journey and arrive at a distant shore. It can't get to the new shore without leaving the old one behind.

We humans are funny about endings. We don't tend to like them. Even when something needs to end, we often resist. We have anxiety and fear about leaving one place and heading to a new environment. We sometimes try to cling to the old and drag it with us into the new. This rarely works, and often taints the new experience with damaging and destructive remnants of the past.

The crucifixion and resurrection story really gives us an example of what is possible to us when we 'die to the old' and 'allow the new form' to emerge. We can overcome any obstacle or hardship. We can triumph over the greatest of defeats. The key is in letting the old go - even when it is frightening and painful to do so.

There could have been no resurrection without the crucifixion. The crucifixion represents the painful letting go of 'all that we know.' The resurrection shows us that once we allow the old to pass away we can re-emerge as something we couldn't possibly imagine from our old circumstance or perspective.

Humans seek security. Consistency can feel like security. Our true security, however, comes from deeper wells than the circumstances of our outer life. Our security comes from knowing who and what we really are - and knowing that we are far more than the physical bodies or earthly lives that we conduct. All these 'props' help us to learn our spiritual lessons and evolve on our spiritual path. They are not 'the point' of it all. When we allow these 'props' to become too important, and spend too much energy clinging to them, we miss the deeper parts of the journey available to us.

This season of Easter with all it's promise and potential, I encourage us all to embrace our endings. Letting the old pass away to make room for the new is a challenging, but powerful gift we can give ourselves.

I'm spending a little time making a list of the old things that I have let go of (like clothes, old books, relationships, jobs, ideas, etc.) and also jotting down some of the ways that releasing those things have made way for new and better things. It's a great exercise to reinforce the idea that endings and release often lead to experiences that we truly yearn for! Give it a try!

Happy Easter - may you embrace the potential in the new beginnings that are available to you right this very minute!

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