bMany people were happy to see 2018 end. Globally, it was a stressful year with plenty of drama to go around for everyone. Looking toward the New Year, there is always a hope that things will change for the better. However, before you can create something new, you must leave the old behind.
Every transition to something new requires that you “end” the old. You must let go of one trapeze bar you are holding before you can grab the new one coming your way.
Staying mired in the old, with prior circumstances or a limiting mindset, can feel like being stuck in the mud. Letting go of endings is difficult because it is natural to identify with your past circumstances and experience. Over time, staying mired in these past stories, they “become you.”
Whether it is a job loss, an end to a relationship, a child going to college, moving to another city or a political leader you don’t support, all of life is full of endings.
Endings that are not acknowledged or understood can send you jumping into the “next thing” to avoid the pain and grief of the loss. This can be a formula for redoing the drama of the past event (or something similar) over and over again!
How do you work with endings in your life? Do you deny them and feel victimized by them? Or do you want to avoid the pain by forcing yourself and others to just “be happy” (which can be aligned with the Rescuer role)?
Maybe you try to manage and control the situation by taking charge, plunging ahead and not looking back. This strategy aligns with the Persecutor—trying to control every detail of the situation or wallowing in the old with blame and judgment. You may not feel like a Persecutor. Instead, you may feel like a Victim to circumstances you don’t like or don’t want. However, when you control and over-manager, it is almost assured that others will see you as a Persecutor.
As you reflect, we encourage you to view such events, people and circumstances as Challengers and what learning and growth they provoked in you – even if they were unwanted or unwelcomed. Retain the lessons learned, and then let go of the cause.
The cycle of endings and beginnings is fundamental to nature. The leaves fall, the branch lies dormant and it buds again in the spring. Carrying your 2018 drama with you into the New Year goes against that natural cycle. It will not empower you to create something new.
Pause now and list a few things that are ending for you, and include even small items. (For instance, your favorite coffee shop closed, which ended your morning coffee routine.)
We did this and discovered we had a full page of items that were naturally ending in 2018, as well as items that we declared were ending by choice. Remember to also list patterns of thought that are ending (e.g. complaining, or focusing on what might go wrong), as well as events or circumstances.
As we reflected on what was ending for us, as a married couple and business partners, we found it useful to also adopt a phrase that reflects the newness we bring to 2019: “We begin again.”
Reflecting upon what is ending for you in 2018 clears the way for new beginnings and allows the Creator in you to emerge even more consciously and powerfully in 2019.
One more “letting go” for us. For regular readers of TED* Works!, you may notice a new look and masthead. This is a transition in preparation for what is arriving in 2019, which is David’s new book 3 Vital Questions: Transforming Workplace Drama. Stay tuned!
Happy NEW Year!