New Beginnings – Painting By Marylou Falstreau
On my mind as of late: new beginnings. Frightening and thrilling. Eye-opening and painful. Can’t come fast enough and seem to slow down right when things become revealing. New beginnings sometimes seem to be thrown at us, without choice or cause. We wander around trying to figure out what we’re supposed to learn from them, and more importantly, which direction we are supposed to head. We witness people say “Things happen for a reason” and are left to figure that reason out for ourselves. Sometimes, people expect us to not only figure out that reason instantaneously but accept it on the spot. This just isn’t always reality. In fact it’s rare. I wanna shout “C’mon already, give me time to explore!”
“Every new beginning comes from some other beginnings end” – Anonymous
I love this quote and yet I think it captures why new beginnings truly are so frightening to us. Not only are we faced with the great unknown ahead, but we are left to mourn the ending of some part of our life. Whether it’s a job, an affair, or becoming a new parent, the new beginning does indeed signal a loss of some kind. It’s been my experience that the new beginning was really just the universe’s way of saving me the burden of permitting myself to move on. Most of us have quite a hard time giving ourselves permission. Or, we think it is a non-negotiable necessity to give ourselves permission. We can barely eat an Oreo (or four) without convincing ourselves it’s really okay. For others, of course, permission involves years of surrendering to pain or hurt. It means finally allowing old wounds to being their healing.
I think of my dear friend who has been reveling in a multi-faceted new beginning. She is learning, with micro-movements, how to love herself. She is learning how to reprogram her past so that those choices become her own. She is realizing that she is worthy of love and that she no longer needs to give herself permission to be loved. I sit with her tears, and with her heart bursting open, as she explores these new beginnings. I listen to the years of time she did as a prisoner of hurt and abuse. I hear the sound of renewed self-confidence crashing around her body, massaging out that hurt with gentle hands. I also hear the sound of hope. I am so honored to be quietly at her side as she liberates herself one painting, one sentence, one question, and one purposely-missed-phone-call-from-a-lover at a time.
I think of another lovely friend coming out of a relationship full of heart-wrenching neglect and crushing emotional abuse. She is one of those friends whose soul is fragile, sweet, and sometimes innocent. Her marriage was fraught with the sourness of belittlement and control and I’ve observed her sweetness slowly dissipate. I’ve agonized over how to appropriately rekindle a friendship with someone who I struggled to support during her worst times. For numerous reasons, I wasn’t able to give myself permission to be that friend for her. I admit that I have, at times, regretted not making the choice to simply forgo permission and pride and offer, in the least, moments of openness (this will be one of my new beginnings). With determination and faith, she is “coming to the edge of all she knows” and taking that first dreaded leap into her new beginning. I admire her courage. And she is a much needed reminder that “Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying “I will try again tomorrow.” – Mary Anne Radmacher
Then, there’s little ol’ me. New beginnings are abounding everywhere in my life and I am at once feeling anxious, ready, and lost. Yet, the most pervasive revelation is that I've finally been found.
And at last, my excuse to post one of my favorite poems of all time by the delectable David Whyte. You must recite this out loud and let it resonate and swirl in your bones. I dedicate it to L and T.
has to be
so you can find
the one line
Sometimes it takes
a great sky
to find that
wedge of freedom
in your own heart.
the bones of the black
sticks left when the fire
has gone out
someone has written
in the ashes of your life.
You are not leaving
you are arriving.