Ever feel like you want to be done with something? Me too. Looking into the possibilities of the new year can bring that up for many of us because it seems like a great time to reflect and start anew.
I’m working on completing a few things in my life right now – particularly around my own unconscious ways of thinking/being that keep me stuck in old patterns, repeating experiences that are painful, or repeating thoughts that I’m unlovable or unworthy. Fuck that.
We can get complete around pretty much anything – failed plans, a job we wanted and didn’t get, the end of a relationship, dashed expectations, missed opportunities, how the past day, week, month, or year went. The trickiest part of the process though, is that we need to be willing to be complete. We must be ready to release any hopes that whatever it was could magically become something else, to accept what was, and to forgive wherever forgiveness is called for. Easier said than done. But the cool thing is when we do this, we get to be free.
In April of 2012 my mom died. She was in hospital, but she had been several times before in those past few years, and none of us expected anything other than that she would come home. It took me a long time, many years in fact, to get to the point that I was willing to accept that she really had died and would never return. I had to stop fighting against what was and accept that I no longer had living parents (dad had died just a few months before mom). It meant being willing to face life without the guide I’d always counted on the most. It meant forgiving her for the mistakes she’d made, and, far more demanding, forgiving myself for the mistakes I’d made.
Here’s the thing about completion though. It’s not always one and done – but a process that unfolds across days, months, years, a lifetime. And that’s okay because when we take it on earnestly, we do evolve ourselves, we move forward, we get deeper and clearer. Even if something pops up that makes it seem like there’s been little progress, I want to assure you that there has been. We shift, we transform, and our lives change.
As you look toward your next chapter, what do you want to be complete about?
More importantly, and be honest with yourself, what are you willing to be complete about? Because if you’re not willing it’s not going to work. Take heart, that only means you might need more time, and there’s nothing wrong in that. Don’t be alarmed, I’m about to toss in a Bible quote.
I love the assurance in Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, that everything has its own time and season,
“…a time to tear down and a time to build…a time to weep and a time to laugh… a time to mourn and a time to dance…a time to be silent and a time to speak…a time to keep and a time to cast away….”*
Part of what I get is that if I’m not ready, it’s okay because in due time, I will be, and in my experience this has always been true.
If you are truly ready to be complete about something, declare it, powerfully.
“I’m willing to accept that my mother has died.”
“I’m willing to be complete that I missed my daughter’s big game.”
“I’m willing to be complete about wishing I could convince him/her about X, Y, Z…”
Once you get here, you’re ready for the actions that can help you truly accept, release, and move forward with renewed vigor and joy.
Your actions could include writing all the ways you’re upset with/about X, all the ways you can own your part, and what you want to create going forward.
You can do self-forgiveness meditation (a game-changer). I highly recommend one that you’ll find in the book, “Who Dies?” by Steven Levine. But you can also Google “Self-forgiveness meditation” to find a wealth of resources and options.
Essentially, what you’re endeavoring to do is to enter a process of transformation, of releasing what was so that you can create what can be. Again, it’s not (often) a one-time event, but a practice you take on to free yourself from whatever has you stuck. Listen, if I can do it, anyone can. Take your time and be kind to yourself. You’ve got this.
*For any who are interested, I refer to this section of scripture as reassurances because I see them as guideposts in what can feel like a random and chaotic world. But I don’t mean to oversimplify or suggest they are intended only to sooth us. Like any scripture (from any tradition) there are many possible interpretations and ways of reading. This scripture invites us to reflect deeply on life, on our perceptions, and on how we’re living and impacting other beings and the planet.