RAOKA: The End is the Beginning

February 2, 2011

This month’s RAOKA (Random Acts of Kick Arse) topic is new beginnings. Each month a new theme is explored. To get involved, please visit Zeenat Merchant-Syal at Positive Provocations.

My Merriam Webster Dictionary defines commencement as “the act or time of a beginning.” As a young adult graduating high school and then college, I was always puzzled why they sometimes referred to the graduation ceremony as a commencement ceremony. After all, graduation meant the end of my high school and then my undergraduate college career. Then I realized that graduation from college was also the beginning of my working life.

Every day, each of us faces a myriad of losses: relationships, jobs, money, friends and, in the worse case scenario, someone close to us passes away. In each of these situations we will need to mourn our loss. “Time heals everything,” they say. I think that’s mostly true. But it often take a great deal of time to get over these losses.

I still remember getting laid off for the first time. Up to that point, it was my favorite job and I figured a layoff was what happened to someone else. I spent the months afterward confused, surprised and hurt. I also spent considerable time thinking about the cool job (and my friends) that I would miss.

Looking back now, I realize these losses offered me something more than just sadness and disappointment. These losses offered me a chance at a new beginning. My first layoff prompted me to join Toastmasters, something I had been meaning to do. From that loss I’ve gained a new sense of confidence of my public speaking abilities and I’ve met an amazing group of friends. Other losses have made it possible for me to meet new people and spend time focusing on things that, in retrospect, were more important.

I know I’m a glass half-full kind of person, but I believe it’s possible for every ending in our lives to be a new beginning. A beginning of a new path that brings us greater opportunities for happiness and wisdom. What if we could re-frame our ending to realize that our loss is really a new beginning? It’s possible right now.

So how about you…can you describe a time you realized a loss was really a new beginning? I’d love to hear about it…

Creative commons photo courtesy of @Boetter

1 The Exception February 3, 2011 at 1:21 pm

I am teaching my daughter this idea – that the end is a beginning and the trick to it all is living as fully as we can in each moment – not leaving things left unsaid etc. I have had many new beginnings – a lay off that brought me back to VA; the end of a significant relationship that was more toxic than I wanted to see… a beginning of a new lease on life and finding myself anew; an ending I never saw as an ending but as a huge new beginning… the birth of my daughter… Sometimes we get caught up in the emotion and the drama of the “end” of something that we can’t allow ourselves to see the opportunities that are just before our eyes!

Great post Tim!

2 Tim February 4, 2011 at 1:58 pm

Hi Exception: I love the last sentence of your comment…so true! It sounds like you’ve been through a lot but have had the ability to see the positive in the challenges you’ve encountered. That’s really awesome. Even more awesome is that you are bringing up your daughter in a manner where she’ll be more likely to handle the challenges ahead. Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend!

3 Zeenat{Positive Provocations} February 4, 2011 at 11:18 pm

HI Tim! This is an amzing post and an amazing discovery into the NEW na 🙂 I love how life in its own subtle ways has such wonderful surprises for us….And end is really another new beginning….the possibilities with that beginning are truly endless.
Thank you fro sharing your experience here Tim! Its an eye opener.
Lovely post 🙂
Much Love,
Z~

4 Tim February 5, 2011 at 10:04 am

Zeenat: Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts here…I like your statement about life having wonderful surprises for us. I know sometimes they don’t feel wonderful, but with a little introspection I think we begin to realize these surprises really are positive in most cases. Thanks again for hosting this month’s RAOKA topic and have a great weekend!

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