A fresh start
What do we do with medications that are past their expiry date? We discard them without much thought. We do the same with food items that begin to rot. Yet, when it comes to our life situations, we are unable to let go of them even after they are way past their due date.
There’s nothing permanent in our world. Everything comes with a shelf life. Every day ends paving way for a new one. Every season passes before a new season begins. People too, leave the world even as new ones arrive. Why, even the mighty sun has an expiry date. Astrophysicists say that some day in the distant future, perhaps hundreds of thousands of years from now, it will cease to exist.
In the known universe, endings are an inevitable fact of life and each of us knows that. But we still develop attachments and cling to things, people and situations and, when faced with an ending, we are unable to accept it with grace. Our whole life is a story of endings and beginnings and yet we find it difficult to honour endings and to let go of the past. We are so afraid of losing what we have that we forget that every ending ushers a fresh new beginning and in the process, we forego a big share of our peace, joy and fulfilment.
Why are we unable to let go even when it’s painful to hold on? The answer is fear. Fear of uncertainty. Thich Nhat Hanh says, “People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.”
This issue is our attempt to help you overcome the fear of letting go, of breaking up with your past. In the cover story, award-winning author Patricia Spadaro busts four myths that keep us from moving on. She also shares four tips that will help you to forge a fresh alliance with new possibilities in your life. “Although it might not seem so at first, every ending has its purpose and its gift. To help you awaken to this truth, when you experience an ending of any sort, think of it as a graduation or a promotion. Graduations not only signal the end of an era in your life but also celebrate the beginning of a new one. That’s why they’re called ‘commencement’ exercises,” she writes. Whether you feel stuck due to indecision or are trying to deal with some kind of loss—physical, emotional or financial—you will find Patricia’s matter-of-factly approach easy to relate to, and relevant.
I reckon her advice will come in quite handy in your endeavour to start afresh. As you let go of whatever is holding you back from your own joy, don’t forget to wear your metaphorical graduation cap—after all, it is the beginning of a new phase of your life.
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