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  • Writer's pictureQualia

Endings or Beginnings?

Endings or Beginnings


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I’ve been thinking a lot about endings lately. Endings feel so real to us because we grew up on stories that all end with a specific finality to them. ‘And they lived happily ever after,” is one of the most classic final lines in many of the stories most North Americans grew up on. Even in the majority of early cultures worldwide, stories and histories are told in a linear fashion. Very few peoples have stories and beliefs of the universe where reality is more cyclical and non-linear.


Friends move away, we quit jobs or are fired, couples break up, children grow up and move out. But are these endings? Or are they merely changes. I’ve wondered a lot lately if one of the reasons we have collectively learned to fear change is that we treat them as endings. We were taught that an ending means the movie is over and its time for bed. An ending means sadness and separation, even though the story itself may have been a happy one.


What if we re-learn that these endings are only changes and change is not necessary to fear? Change is truly like the roots of a plant, the changing of shape and direction and a continuation of the growth and evolution of life. Our human brains fear change because they crave homeostasis. The brain wants things to stay as they are; even when that normalcy is actively destroying it. Your brain wants you to stay in a toxic relationship, a horrible job and a belief system that is killing you because the brain doesn’t recognize these things are awful for you; it only wants things to keep going because that is the smoother pathway for your neurons.


I recently saw this quote by Joseph Campbell; “The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.”


To me this means that these parts of us; these closed doors or dark caves in our soul, they hold the things we truly need. The last year or so for me, especially since starting therapy has been seeking out these caves.


I walked alone in the forest of my mind. The sunshine fell through the thick canopy above me and created a dappled lighting where some areas that I frequented were more well lit and places I avoided were shrouded in darkness. The forest IS me though. By keeping areas in shadows and avoiding the necessary task of pruning back trees to let the light in, I was denying myself the opportunity to create a mind that was fully whole.


Jung talked about the process of individuation, a fundamental psychological process by which a person integrates disparate parts of their self into a whole. I think about this a lot lately because I wonder how can any of us be whole if we are unwilling to engage all aspects of who they are, even those which they fear.

That has been one of my primary goals this year, to keep engaging with all aspects of myself to create a whole person for the first time in my adult life. It hasn’t been easy, but I have had amazing moments of feeling like myself and for the most part feel less stressed out and more relaxed than ever. It’s also helped boost my creativity because my mind isn’t as anxious about other things.


How did this roll? I want to have these kinds of one-page little essays/journal entries once a month or so. Some will be a bit deeper; others will probably be humorous. Is this something you’d like to see more of?


Let me know!

Thanks,

-Qualia


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Debralyn Nicole
Debralyn Nicole
May 05, 2023

I think about this a lot. The process of it all can be very unsatisfying, and yet that’s everything there is. What’s at “the end?” Everything we experience is the getting there. 🫠

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