The Space Between Ending and Beginning

2015 is ending and 2016 is beginning tonight.

“Out with the old, in with the new!” I flippantly said to a coworker who wished me a Happy New Years.

Easier said than done when one of those endings is a romantic relationship.

While it’s certainly for the best, I’m still in the midst of grieving the loss of it. I feel about 3 inches shorter.

It’s these moments of moving from endings to beginnings that are opportunities to truly live rather than escape. To build and heal, rather than fester. To reflect and try something new. To care for yourself and trust. The liminal space can feel vulnerable, unknown, and annoyingly empty. The beginning is not quite here yet, the grieving still is happening, but the loss has happened.

Living and accepting our reality will not feel very spiritual. It will feel like we are on the edges rather than dealing with the essence. Thus most run toward more esoteric and dramatic postures instead of bearing the mystery of God’s suffering and God’s joy inside themselves. But the edges of our lives–fully experienced suffered, and enjoyed–lead us back to the center and the essence, which is Love. — Richard Rohr

So this is what I’m doing. Sitting, savoring, suffering. All of it. Then I take a break to go out with friends, have fun, and work out hard. There’s no fast-forward button to a month from now, where I’ll certainly feel more peace. I have the clarity and feedback from trusted friends, but it’s not sinking in. The logic adds up, but it doesn’t feel like reality yet. This space between feels like a waiting room. And in the meantime I’m grateful for my incredible community who make it impossible to feel alone and who show God’s holy comfort.

I know many can relate to the desire for 2016 to be better than 2015, whether it be personally, professionally, or politically. I know there are those of us who want to just get right into the beginning, the change, the action of building something new. I hope on this day of reflection you can feel into the rough edges of 2015, and that they will lead you back into the center in 2016. And from that center of Love is where you’ll find the next beginning.

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