Endings or Beginnings?
Dissatisfaction at work? unrealized creativity? The need to move on? Embrace these situations, as they are opportunities for growth.
The idea that the fewer disruptions, changes, differences of opinions, and conflicts we have in our lives, the more we think it’s “smooth sailing." Well, most of us don’t have all the answers, and thank goodness we don’t!
It may sound obvious, but if we had all the answers, we simply wouldn’t grow. We wouldn’t seek new experiences, take on challenges never met before, learn that difficult Sonata, try running 5 miles instead of 1, or paint like it was our last opportunity to paint. As human beings, we have he advantage of making mistakes and learning from them. We become more loving, more responsible, more capable, and more empathetic than we were before. With experience we learn to accept that we have character defects (albeit terribly human). Without that knowledge, we wouldn’t need to practice the piano longer, learn to apologize, understand how to be more loving, nor increase our compassion. Could we endeavoring to be more patient, less tense, more loyal, and less selfish? Would we developing a greater sense of integrity?
These feelings and experiences, and the changes involved we recognize as measures of growth. Whether we’re talking about a career, a friendship, our artwork, a love relationship, a boss, or a specific job, we can choose to see these changes and challenges as positive. Thus, our choice to embrace change and figure out what we were supposed to learn by going through this, results in a “plus” for us, having faced the fear, anger, loneliness, or criticism.
Positive changes, though often difficult, are hopeful, and do not necessarily have to be seen as negative. They may not have come about happily or, at first, by choice. You may have been laid off, your film may have been rejected, you may have experienced the pain of an unfaithful spouse, the humiliation of a failed course, or lived through the tragedy and pain of a deceased loved one. How can we say there is any pay-off at all?
If we stick with the process and reach out for support, tap into the circle of friends and family that nourishes us, we will, at the very least, gathered more information. Information is good. It is positive. It lets us know what to continue to seek and bring toward us, and what to avoid.
Many of us have friends we chose years ago. Ask yourself if they are still as close to you as they once were. You may have a friend from high school who was your BFF, and you are on the same social networking site, but when you are in despair, do you call that person? Perhaps. What matters is that you will likely reach out to someone who shares your core values and you trust that person to give you valuable support and feedback.
What we put up with in the past, we may no longer desire to have as part of our life. Maybe we tolerated angry, spiteful or rude people and, as time went on, felt less and less drawn to them. Maybe this is someone we eliminate, or significantly reduce our time with, but your indecision or confusion is making you feel bad. You’re not sure how to set limits with people who no longer feed your spirit. This conflict is positive. It is an inevitable consequence of your growth and change!
The same is true for a job you say you dislike or that makes you feel bored. If your salary is too low for the number of hours you contribute, is there something awry? Do you have any passion at all for your job or your career? Is it time to evaluate that? The positive thing about this realization is that change is a growth opportunity.
Thank goodness for that! This is a weather vane that you can now use as information to look at evaluate whether or not a new choice is in order. There is gratitude in discovery.
It is completely understandable to fear change. It’s new! We don’t know what is on the other side. We only know what we’re used to. The key to knowing when it is time to make a change is: is the fear of moving forward greater or less than the pain of staying where you are in job/career/relationship?? There is hope in change, though the process can be uncomfortable at times. Getting to the truth gracefully moves us from endings to new beginnings.
*Recommended reading: “Necessary Losses: The Loves, Illusions, Dependencies, and Impossible Expectations That All of Us Have to Give Up in Order to Grow,” by Judith Viorst.
“Necessary Endings: The Employees, Businesses, and Relationships That All of Us Have To Give Up In Order To Move Forward,” by Dr. Henry Cloud.