I've been thinking a lot lately about endings and beginnings.
My whole life, I've had a hard time with endings. Moving to a new place, the ending of childhood, the ending of some of my innocence, relationships that end, friendships that wither, death that comes, there have been so
many endings in this lifetime for me, and in this last year (as it has been for all of us, and I'm so sorry, I wish I could help you carry it). The end of my career, the end of my "healthy" self, the end of the world that I felt I had some footing in, the end of traveling, running, walking, playing. The end of who I thought I was. Throughout all of this, I was too sick to really know or care about the things I was missing, all that had changed. All I could feel was the panic from the world, and a deep, deep sorrow. I couldn't see any light from the bottom of the deep, dark well. Maybe I was mourning for me, or for all of us, I do not know.
There is definitely a before and after. There is a bit of Appalachian folklore that many mountain folk still practice (which I love). It's a marriage ritual that involves jumping over a broomstick, rather then a big wedding with vows:
"A broom placed aslant in the doorway is a symbol of holy matrimony.
I feel like I have jumped over some metaphorical broom. Maybe I'm remarrying myself. And, after a lot of reflection, I like this new me, in this moment, even in the midst of everything. I'd like to say that I've hit the final sunset on not knowing how to say "no", being a workaholic, living life at a pace that was unhealthy for me, being constantly under stress (most of which I created), surrounding myself with the wrong people, and trying to carry the weight of the world on my shoulders.
I'm what is called an "old soul empath". Other old soul empaths say this is a blessing and a curse. I didn't know this until I was older, but now I know why I cry when other people cry, why I always extend a helping hand even if it might harm me, why I am always trying to save people and animals, why I can literally feel the emotions of those around me, and why I could never really set any boundaries.
So, being an empath means that I really feel the beginnings and endings (even if they are not my own). I feel yours, and I grieve for you. And I would see my own endings as a failure on my part. How audacious of me. To think that if I had tried harder, I could have saved my Father from dying of cancer. That if I cared enough about people I could help them and change them. That if I worked hard enough, I could bend the Universe.
I'm tired of being sad. I'm tired of this way of thinking, I know it doesn't serve me or anyone else. I know it makes me sick. Endings could have a more warm, cheerful energy. Something that can be poignant, not devastating. This is so far out of my comfort zone, but what if I could step into the emotional grace of completion? To cherish all the beauty of life, including the endings? A natural ending to a grand adventure, that leaves a door open to honor new beginnings? There is real honor there, I think...honoring experiences, relationships, and seeing them as gifts instead of a misstep or failure on my part.
There is no drama here in this place, only optimistic resolution. I like the idea of that.