“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
I sometimes wonder if the reason I have for so long embraced the motto “You never fail until you quit” is because I am so unskilled at endings. I feel like the tire that is stuck spinning in a muddy rut when it is time to move on. I have the will, the engine revving but I can’t quite release the past. Something sticks in me or, perhaps to me, and I get lost in flashes of memory, the things that were said or more often, left unsaid. I flicker between the present and those lost moments, my sentimentality sparked by the smallest of token gestures. There is romanticism to this way of living that one could argue for, but increasingly I am aware that whatever merit it holds, it effectively keeps me from embracing the future I long to embody.
What my wisdom is yearning for most is understanding of the difference between giving up and letting go. I am not alone in this conundrum, which requires deep courage to let go of the familiar in favor of a life that we aspire to, even as it is still taking shape inside of us. The New Year demands us to look at what it means to embrace a fresh start and what I am recognizing is that any resolution worth making begins with letting go. I have reached an important crossroads with Good Clean Love.
This New Year, my fiftieth birthday has taught me that of all the things we have, time is the most precious resource in life. I am blessed to be full of creative energy with a slew of inspiring good ideas bubbling up in me. Projects like finishing my new book on the positivity quest, creating a positivity garden in my community high school, funding a miniseries film project on love and intimacy, teaching how to make love work to cancer survivors, creating an e-book to help recharge the medically challenged sex life and launching a happiness initiative in my town are among the many that inspire me every day.
I have been seeking a partner and funding for Good Clean Love for some time and although I can’t quite see the solution yet, I trust the right solution for its growth and development is coming. Good Clean Love has been the primary vehicle for my devotion for close to a decade and it is imprinted with the best of what I know of love and intention. Ever the optimist and unsuccessful quitter, I seem unable to turn my attention away from the daily needs of a company that has grown up underfunded for so long that keeping it going is second nature. Yet, here we are, witnessing the truth that every underfunded venture reaches a moment when it can no longer sustain its own success.
Lao Tzu once wisely wrote: “By letting it go it all gets done. The world is won by those who let it go. But when you try and try, the world is beyond the winning.” These are sage words for a woman who refuses to give up but also needs to let go.
The tragic truth of not recognizing when it is time to let go, is that we can become so overwhelmed by trying to avoid endings that we miss the opportunities that come in the form of new beginnings.
Every transition is where the next opening starts. There really isn’t a choice to make the end of things a new beginning. The alternative is getting stuck and closing down a little bit more at each ending. Even the sticky, messy business of letting go a little at a time is better than not doing it all. The more days that go by in this ever changing life, the more I think that one is constantly starting over. So here is the real New Year’s resolution question: What might you become if you let go of who you are right now? Me, I am going to become a teacher, a writer, a movie producer, a gardener….a leader.