The End is Actually a New Beginning
We are in the midst of graduation season. All over the country, students are parading through various stages in their educational development. Innocent pre-school children are moving on to elementary settings while current primary and middle school-aged kids are transitioning to their secondary level of learning. Enthusiastic high school seniors are excited to say good-bye to four years of ringing bells and rigid class schedules. Newly matriculated, these naive teens are venturing out into the world for their first taste of independence. Sophisticated college graduates are anxious to cash in on their expensive, hard-earned degrees in the hopes of finding lucrative and meaningful jobs.
Everyone is marching forward.
“There is a good reason they call these ceremonies ‘commencement exercises’. Graduation is not the end, it is the beginning.” (Orrin Hatch)
Commencement is not just reserved for academic events. Life, with its fluid, forward motion, has many similar opportunities that invite us to experience multiple, awakening dawns that cast us off into a kaleidoscope of maiden voyages. First kisses, initial careers, engagements, and the purchase of new homes are all exciting events. But along with these welcomed inceptions come inevitable endings. Some of these conclusions are totally unexpected, unsolicited, and cruel.
Death is one of them. As its shadow crosses the threshold of life, a door slowly closes and the darkness behind it, created by the absence of the vibrant glow from a loved one, can push us through into a tunnel of despair and uncertainty. Struggling to avoid a sensation of free fall that can spin us out of control and leave us feeling panicked and scared, we temporarily retreat in an effort to heal.
Fortunately, the passage of time and the wisdom that we gain from it helps us to recalibrate and to find our bearings again. It gives us distance from the pain and loneliness and provides a clearer perspective of what is ahead. If we take a moment to listen to our hearts, we can hear our “whispers” again. During this exercise we are reminded to trust our inner voice and to accept the power of love that will always be with us, unlike the physical presence which has disappeared.
“Ends are not bad things, they just mean that something else is about to begin. And there are many things that don’t really end; anyway, they just begin again in a new way. Ends are not bad and many ends aren’t really an ending; some things are never –ending.” (C. JoyBell C.)
Just like the presentation of a diploma at the conclusion of a commencement ceremony which is the symbolic permission to exit, true life experience is our passport to the future. This acquired insight opens our eyes and prepares us for the portal of another genesis, another chance to live and love. It is our voucher to launch a new adventure on a new day.
“Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?” (L.M. Montgomery)
Where ever you are now in life’s procession, remember to go out and acknowledge a new beginning. Celebrate your own special, personal “commencement” and embrace its joy and power. There are many more tomorrows yet to come.
Congratulations to “graduates” everywhere, each on your own stage of life.