People have marked endings and beginnings for thousands of years, perhaps most formally since the first calendars (lunar, astronomical, seasonal…).
I was interested by the image of the Roman god Janus, for beginnings, endings, doorways, gates and times of change. He had two faces – one looking to the past, the other to the future.
What really interested me was theis ‘double-sidedness’. A beginning – such as a new year, a job, a home, a new life choice – often means an ending of something else. That change can raise questions of identity, as we shed something we used to have and define ourselves by the new thing or new relationships.
At New Year so much focus is on new goals or beginnings, but very little is on endings so I would like to look at them here. Which things are you going to say goodbye to at this time? What would you like to say goodbye to? Is something holding you back? Are there any things you are saying goodbye to with joy?
Perhaps you are facing an ending you do not want to happen. How will you mange that? Will you be marking the ending in some way – a ceremony, a specific act? Sometimes these formal ‘rituals’ can help to bring “closure” and aid healing after an ending. Do you have a support network to help you make the change that this ending brings, and they they be part of the ceremony?
When you have faced your ending, whatever feelings it brings up, what parts of your identity have changed? How do you define yourself? By your relationships? Your job? Where you live? Family? What has changed, what has ended, what now takes its place?
What might seem a series of simple questions can uncover far deeper meanings, and that uncovering can take time (as self-discovery so often does!). That is why marking endings and beginnings is found throughout human culture, and why it can be so useful to take time to look at them now.
I sincerely wish you a happy, prosperous and fulfilling 2017.