Have you ever been uncomfortable with something ending?
There are two conflicting pulls within me almost every time I experience something ending in my life. When I was graduating high school, I felt this overwhelming joy that this stage of life was over and I was happy to begin the next adventure. However, there was this sadness that seemed to darken my mood surrounding the friends I had made and the thought that I might never see some of them again, or if I did see them, the dynamics of our relationship would be different.
When my two year LDS mission ended, I felt a bitter longing to extend my time just a little longer, but on the other hand was happy to be done with two of the most difficult years of my life thus far.
In conversation with others, I realize that these feelings are not special to me. We all seem to feel an uncomfortable tension surrounding the end of things.
Our lives are full of endings; relationships, where we live, where we work, our environment, school, and stages of life to name a few.
One could pose the perspective that sometimes we as mortal beings feel uncomfortable with endings because our inherent spirit is an eternal being and therefore longs for the long lasting. Although I do agree with this idea, I do not want to focus on it while living in this mortal life. I believe a spiritual perspective to be important at times, but I also believe in the need for a temporal perspective due to the temporary experience we are currently living in.
This particular temporal perspective being that it is healthy to accept those things which end. There are beginnings and ends lining all aspects of what makes up a mortal life.
Might I suggest that this internal struggle within ourselves every time something ends is a manifestation of our inability to accept that whatever it is, has truly ended.
A relationship, a long lasting job or time in a certain environment, can all be examples of endings we experience. An emotional response to each is healthy and necessary. However, what is unhealthy and detrimental to a person’s well being are the pseudo thoughts that that stage of one’s life did not in reality end.
There is power to a goodbye, power that can enable one to truly move on and accept what has happened in the past as something that happened and might not happen again.
Have you ever said goodbye to a friend and then realized you were both walking the same way home? There is a sort of awkwardness attached to the realization because the goodbye was already said.
The power regarding a goodbye comes from the acceptance that things are over or ending. Maybe you will see them again, or maybe you will visit that home that you are moving away from. However, things will be slightly different. This is the outcome of saying goodbye, and meaning it. This is what adds to the magic of nostalgia and memories.
There are many different definitions of harmony, one of which is my favorite and that is that harmony is the coming together of many different elements for a temporary time. Harmony is a beautiful thing and the fact that it is temporary does not make it less so.
The certain part of the orchestra that really tugs at your heartstrings and sends shivers down your spine is not because it is a note that lasts forever, it is because you are enjoying the temporary personification of harmony.
In a spiritual sense, there will be a time when some things deemed temporary will turn permanent and there are some things that if treated correctly can remain permanent. However, there is fulfilling satisfaction that accompanies the true acceptance of something that has ended.
We live in a temporal world, and just as the word temporal connotes, most everything we experience will be temporary. If we fall into a trap of holding onto things or people because of our discomfort with endings, we will be weighed down by unnecessary baggage, we will not feel the power of a true goodbye and we will not move forward to bigger and better things.