By Gail Lynne Goodwin.
For me, lessons are learned more quickly and remain with me longer, when they are tangible.
Recently we purchased a property with a beautiful old historic home. But everything isn’t always what it looks like on the outside. Over the last month, as we dug deeper into the condition of the house, we sadly realized that it would actually cost us much more to renovate the existing structure just to make it livable, than it would to demolish and rebuild a new one. After much discussion and a great amount of contemplation, we made the difficult decision to demolish the house and rebuild.
Yesterday, as I was watched each bite of the demolition equipment reduce the house to a small pile of rubble, I was struck with the bittersweet realization that destruction had to happen to make way for what can be. As Seneca is credited for saying (and popularized by Semisonic’s song “Closing Time”), “Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end“.
Seventy years ago, when this home was constructed, it was someone’s dream, their new beginning. Today, our dream can only move forward, because of some other beginning’s end.
Throughout my personal and professional life, I’ve had countless times where I had to see things end, in order to make way for new beginnings. Sometimes they were easy and other times they were incredibly painful. I guess that’s just part of being human.
I find it really interesting to realize that many of the great things in our lives simply couldn’t have happened without the ending of something else. Without the pain of a prior divorce, I wouldn’t have met my new husband. Without financial difficulty, I wouldn’t have been motivated to succeed. Without health issues, I wouldn’t have gotten to the healthiest place in my life. Without ending of something else, something even better couldn’t have come into my life.
Somehow remembering this makes it easier to look at our current challenges and realize that whatever we’re going through is only a temporary state, to get us to where we need to be.
Whatever adversity we may be going through, keep going, knowing that every new beginning must come from some other beginning’s end. The key is to keep the best, the fond memories, then let go of the rest and move on. Focus on what we choose, not on the loss of what once was. Our lives aren’t meant to be stagnant.
As we build our new home, we’re using many of the materials from the old one, to honor and respect what once was. From using old window frames as mirror frames in the new bathrooms, to wood trim, light fixtures and doors throughout the house, the best of what once was can continue to live on, in our memories and in our hearts.
Remembering that every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end… and that we get to choose what to take with us as we move forward… makes it easier to let go and more on. Today, I’m excited to step forward into the new beginning with a smile.