What we call the beginning is often the end. And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from.T.S. Eliot
Last week, I didn’t post anything on the site, my sincere apologies to the die-hard fans: reasons for not posting, one, because my servers were still playing up, but second and probably most importantly, I was having an episode of severe anxieties, and they impacted a good chunk of my week. I often write about other people’s experiences of mental health, but rarely write about my own. I have mental health days just like everyone else. No one is immune to this, it is part of being human.
Recently, I had what I thought was a major breakthrough in my career. Doors are opening and I am eternally grateful to God and my tribe because it’s through your interactions that the doors are opening.
However, one of the ‘breakthroughs’ failed miserably and it threw me off course. I was so disappointed and everything good happening right now paled in comparison. I had a misguided belief that “this was it!’ finally my work will make a greater impact,” but it was not to be, not at that particular time because it was not part of the Divine Plan. But, before I accepted that fact, I experienced anxieties of the highest order.
The next day, I got out of bed, as usual, did my morning routine but the events of the previous day kept playing endlessly in my mind. I decided to go back to bed because I couldn’t concentrate on anything else. I did and fell into a deep sleep for another 3 hours. I had insane wacky dreams. I was woken up by a phone call, I had missed an appointment. I apologised and returned to sleep for another hour. When I woke up, I felt better and refreshed and instinctively knew what was happening. I have been in the mental health arena long enough to know when the shit hit the fan. I willed myself out of bed because I was hungry. I had something to eat, it was 3 pm. I hadn’t slept like that in a long time.
I decided to tidy up my bedroom and clean the bathroom – anything to curb the anxieties which were again creeping in, plus while doing activities like these I usually listen to gospel music which does wonders for my mental state. I felt a little better, but the loss of the opportunity kept flooding my mind: it was time to take drastic action. I went for a walk and savoured nature, a crispy chilly evening walk along the Thames was wonderful. I returned home to watch mindless TV and let the anxiety play itself out. The following day, I woke up feeling much better. Today I decided to share this and help someone.
The point of this story is this, and is what I know for sure, everything in this phenomenal universe happens for a reason, and everything has a beginning and an end. However, most of us tend to celebrate beginnings and mourn endings. We celebrate weddings and mourn divorces; we celebrate births and mourn deaths etc.
As joyful as most beginnings are and worthy of celebrations, we must also celebrate endings because only then can we truly celebrate a beginning if we celebrate the ending that preceded it, otherwise we forward the hurt from the ending. I am in no way minimising the impact an ending has on humans. We are emotional beings and every ending is a loss which grief is the emotion associated with it, and we must go through it. We must mourn the ending (loss) but should never let it define us. Even when our loved ones transition, we grieve the loss but life goes on. We don’t forget them, we grief the loss and then celebrate their lives because we know they are living on in other forms.
I believe endings are God’s way of preparing us for beginnings, and endings are never comfortable because sometimes we have to be pushed out. I remember a story my mother told us when I was a little girl. At the time it didn’t make a lof of sense, but now I see what it meant. The story was of mother eagle and how she looks after her babies. She creates a very comfortable nest for the babies using her own feathers, the soft ones. She feeds them daily and protects them from the elements. And as babies do, they grow up, but the eagle babies usually are reluctant to leave the nest, so what does the mother eagle do? She starts removing the soft feathers, not all at once, but bits by bits each day until the nest is nothing but a prickly shrub of dried up twigs. It gets so uncomfortable for the babies (now older teens) that they have no choice but to fly the nest.
This story demonstrates that endings are not nice, they are prickly dried up nests, but they signify new beginnings and adventures. The job of the mother eagle (God in our case) is to make endings extremely uncomfortable to encourage us to take a risk and fly into the next phase.
For me, the rejection from what I thought was a breakthrough was not really a rejection. It was a stepping stone. It was a signpost. I mourned the loss by letting the anxieties take over. Now I celebrate that ending knowing only good things lay ahead.
I found this passage really helpful and inspirational and as a mantra to move forward. I can relax in the knowledge that I am only human and not the power, God is the power.
Confidence is what I AM.
It expresses Itself as My True Nature.
It is the Inspiration in My Heart, the words in My Mouth and the Wisdom of My Mind.
It knows what to do and how to do it.
As I rest in this assurance,
all that is necessary for Divine Right Action to take place
flows out from The Presence Within Me.
Image – Ben Mullins – Unsplash