The Gate Passage of Endings

A few days ago, you brought this year to a close.

It’s an ending. For some, it's a welcome end. For others, not so much. Either way, as a culture, we aren’t great with endings. 

Endings are Gate Passages. They lead you from one thing to another. I’ve shared some of my own Gate Passages this year, and I’m in the midst of another one -- closing the psychotherapy office I’ve had for the past 9 years. 

It's been a slow dance of breathing, witnessing, feeling, and allowing.

This ending is very different from how I used to end things. In my teens and twenties, destruction was the only tool I had. From situations to jobs to relationships, I'd blow it to pieces, angrily blame the other person, and move on before the dust settled.

It pretty much sucked, and I felt like hell every time. After a long while, I realized it was NOT a very satisfying way to end anything and I learned how to do it differently.

In my years as a psychotherapist, I’ve seen over and over how difficult endings are for all of us. 

It’s not like you're taught in school how to do it (but this kind of learning would benefit you far more than memorizing the multiplication table). The good news is that you can teach yourself.

The next time you're faced with an ending, I offer you some things think about: 

  • How can I end things with grace and honor?

  • How can I end things without denying or blaming the other person, and with owning the part I've played in it?

  • How can I loosen my grip on the things that hurt and embrace what felt good?

You can start with this ending -- goodbye 2017 and hello 2018.