Everything has its own beginning and the end. Like the “happily ever after” fairytale endings we hear about at young, I believe most of us are born with innocent and hopeful belief that everything ends with beautiful perfection, and then we grow up to realize that there are things we want but cannot have, people we love but cannot hold onto. What does not change probably is our natural expectancy of the happy-ending.
An ending signifies a clear cut from our past, and the forward to the future. Particularly in suffering and problem, there is hope in one’s heart that he/she would reach the end of hardship, and return to the “normal” life. We may work hard for cure; or we let go with the hope that we would move on without holding back. In counseling, I accompanied with the individuals on their different painful healing stages, in which they continue to swing between arriving at the rational understanding of staying with the suffering, and the emotional frustration of the inability to jump to the ending point of suffering.
As we desperately struggle to leave the misery of the never-seem-ending suffering, often we arrive at the ending not wanting the end to end – a big contrast. We may doubt about our healing progress and any bad circumstance caused by any unpredictable and hidden problem. Perhaps underneath such concern is our insecurity over whether we are “as good as we expect”. Or at other times, we do not want to let go of the healing process which has grown within our hearts. It seems puzzling how we want to continue holding onto the haunting pain and torment. I reckon that after all the struggle and hard work we have committed ourselves into, it would be much more difficult for us to simply put the memories away in a blink.
This makes me realize that even an ending has its own process for us to get used to. We heal, and upon the ending we go for an uneasy path of letting go before we can restart our journey, and continue to move on. Recently I have just experienced a not-so-easy ending process which I believe would shed light into the deepening understanding of the ending as much more than a clear cut point.
Few days ago my ankle injury healing stage came to an end as I officially terminated sick leave, and resumed the full-time work duties. It appeared that I smoothly lead recovery to the closing point. I trained my recovering ankle to beyond the minimum walking requirement, and also got sufficient rest. At first glance it seemed I put the past to an end, and successfully started another life chapter of busy life – I immediately fully engaged in the intensive work schedule. This means the minimum 10 working hours per day, rushed transportation and sleep deficiency.
I ask myself – How do I feel about leaving the healing stage? Interestingly there is a mixture of complex feelings of relief and grief. I feel excited for the freedom to return to the social world, yet at same time I do not want to let go of my healing self. The conflict between welcoming and rejecting the ending.
For me the ending of the recovery stage also marked the loss of the significant treasure I have gradually earned throughout the hard time, particularly writing which had grown as one of the most important healing support for me (I hope to share about this further in the next sharing). I felt so much in me as lost by injury, and upon the moment after I struggled to come in terms with healing, and got close to holding it, it was again being taken away again. Just the thought of it brought me pain and suffering, as I felt I was compelled to remove an important part of me.
In fact I had much psychological preparation for the closure of healing. The first time I thought about the “end” was a month ago as I said to myself, “So you only got a month left.” Since then along the daily countdown was the rising anxiety and sadness. It seemed that I was split into two persons. On one hand, I treasured more of the remaining days and was determined to maintain the equal length of “alone time”. On the other hand, I showed others my eagerness of returning to the social world, and joked about going through the “trial version” of the normal mobility level via resuming partial work tasks. I kept putting on the strong and “I am OK” image, yet deep inside I was licking my suppressed bleeding wound.
Moving towards closure, I realized that I was still not ready for the ending to end. Despite the sufficient time I seemed to have to be psychologically ready, the time arrived then I found out that the amount of pain is no much less than in the way that my healing was abruptly put to unresolved termination.
As much as we initially hope for the ending to come, at the real moment of the arrival of ending, we then struggle to let go of it. Perhaps sometimes there is never a true ending for healing. When we prepare for the ever happy resolution and fresh new start, we are setback by the unpredictable-s, that ending becomes something we cannot control about. It is no wonder that letting go becomes a much harder thing to do. The ending becomes something we no more want in the first place. Then is ending the ending?
No matter where we are, how we go;
No matter whether we are ready or not, whether we want the ending or not,
No matter how the ending goes out of hand than we expected.
Time still goes on, and so do we.
We carry the unresolved past, and continue our roads.
And somehow we get used to it.
No the end has not ended yet. It is not the end.
Perhaps the end comes as we realize the end is never the end.
We learn to accept the changes. ‘
We still continue our healing journey.
It is not the end, but the end of the beginning.
And we move on.