By Annelize: To finally get to the end of a successful book, reading the very last part of the story can create ambivalent feelings in the reader. You may like and agree, usually when it ends in a fairy tale way of good happy endings, but sometimes endings can be sad and hard. Huge losses, heartache, and tears accompanied by anger, frustration, despair, and even loss. You sort of got connected with the main character, and you are feeling and sharing their journey all through this book.
You can feel the anger, the fear, the sadness, but also the joy, the love, passion, and adventure. Then you ask yourself, why does it have to end this way? Why couldn’t the writer just spare the main character and create at least a happy ending, especially after everything the character had to endure and go through. In life that happens, we question the author’s capability, and ask why this, or why that? We even have the audacity to think we could have written it better and given our own opinion of how we would like it to play out. The amazing thing about all of this is that it is out of our control, and what we have as the ending of a book, we have to make the best of it. Sometimes we can control how it ends, as we decide this is the end, but we can never control how other characters react to that ending.
Perhaps you compare your life to one long book, or each phase of your life as a book, or even every year as a new book. Whatever way you look at your life, writing the end of any story is the most tricky part I would say. You need to get closure, you need to bring everything together from the past, and then present something that can have an effect moving forward. It is tricky, and complicated and usually includes lots of tears, pain, and heartfelt sadness.
In my own life, I am at the end of one story of my life. In fact, I have been hanging there for the past years, fearing what will happen next, but also looking forward to what will happen next in the new story I am writing. The end of anything in life is painful, especially if we try to hold onto it if we try to recreate it, or just refuse to accept the end of things as we know it. The loss we experience is huge, and any change is not comfortable. Most people tend to like it more when things stay the same, with no change. Lucky for me my past years have been a constant change, from moving countries, adapting to changing lifestyles, and facing the realities of a dead relationship that has been tagging along for years. Where things were “stable” in the beginning, these past years were stormy changes all around, pressuring everything that was shaky.
Today, I emailed the final divorce contract that we both agreed on, and it is a bittersweet pill to drink. Even though I am so ready to move forward, and create a new life for myself, I still have to grieve the past and what was good. Unfortunately, this is not just a once-off process and there you go, changed, healed, and ready to grab everything life has to offer. No, in fact, it is a bumpy and scary roller coaster ride. Somedays you are up, and very high up, experiencing the adrenaline, the wonderful blessing of being alive, and the next moment you are in the lowest part. Feeling overwhelmed, experiencing anxiety attacks, crying your eyes out, and just not seeing a way to move forward.
The realities of building a life with someone that you once thought of as your world, the memories made, the travels we undertook, the children we created. Each small moment is forever locked into each cell of mine, each minute building upon the next leading up until today. When relationships end, and not always in a friendly manner, we tend to focus so much on all these hard and heavy emotions, our hurt and pain, that we often tend to or not allow ourselves the time to also experience the nostalgia of awesome memories created in a time frame when things were different. Many times there might even be regret of creating the connection or about hanging on for so long or about not behaving differently. We cannot ever change anything that happened, whether we chose it, whether it happened to us, in our control, or out of our control, we need to know that we can use the past beautiful memories to empower us to create a new life. It is not easy and it does take effort to take the time and reflect deeply.
We tend to forget who we are, and what we want in life, and in these most challenging times, that is when we need to dig deep into ourselves. We need to see the wisdom gained, the experiences felt, and the strength attained, in all these past moments. The other day when my son had his birthday, I was looking for childhood photos, and I came across a folder with all our kids’ photos from birth and when they were much younger. It is as if I was transported back in time, and you can feel, see, hear and taste it all over again. I realized then how much I put into everything in life. I always try to live and give 100%. These small reminders of how I played a role in who they are today, can be so rewarding. Yes, I could focus on all the baggage, the emotional issues, and the mental health challenges they face today, due to us not being able to handle our differences in an adult way in our relationship. But just at that moment, I allowed myself the pleasure of just feeling those little bodies, the laughs, the carefree life we had. There were so many wonderful moments, and those are the ones that I want to keep in my mind and body to be the energy that stirs me to move forward. To encourage me to build a new life. To support me when I might feel things are so heavy on my heart.
The painful and sad reality of PTSD and the hurt we all experienced as a family will always be there as a scar to remind us that life can be hard, but we can and will make it through. The bigger picture I want to hold onto is, the fact that all of my experiences lead to where I am today. And that needs to be celebrated! Moving forward I sometimes feel fear, uncertainty, and doubt, but I can now look back and say that this book I have ended, and closed, not just in a dark emotional place, but with a rear view that my past decisions, behaviors, and everything that I have done, matters in a positive way. I can look back and see how strong I am, how determined I am, and how caring I am. It has built me, carried me, molded me, broke me, and hurt me, but all for a greater purpose. Today I have wisdom I never had when I was 20 years old. I have four children that I have invested in to become the best they can and want to be. And with knowing this, I feel an inner strength and peace to move forward, to use this as part of my inspiration to know that I can, and to know that I deserve to love myself, and have a happy life.
Today, I close the book… of many years of marriage, but I am confident that what I have learned so far has equipped me to be able to move forward with great power, self love and success. I let this go with a heart full of thanksgiving, a prayer of gratitude and realizing how blessed I truly am. I want to encourage you that if you are at the end of a book or chapter in your life, things might just have a meaningful end, but you have to take the time to look for it.
Love and Light,