New beginnings are frequently influenced by what has preceded them – the stuff you or someone else has tired of, become bored with, resented or wanted to be free of. Seldom are they the consequence of something positive, yet we as human beings, are reticent to welcome change because of the uncertainties it may involve.
After all, there is a certain safety in sticking with what we know, despite its staleness. There’s also something rather precarious about beginning anything anew because it involves an element of risk, or taking a leap of faith, and of course, it also involves making uncomfortable choices at times.
On an emotional level, which is where many a new start has been made, the bruised heart runs a gauntlet all of its own. ‘Let me never go to that place of hurt again,’ it seems to tell us. Yet, whether pain has been the result of loss or a failed relationship, most of us choose, after a period of healing, to renew our resolve, pick up the metaphorical baggage of the past, and resume the challenge.
It’s a gamble we take, despite the knowledge that there is no assurance of it ending any differently than it did before. Yet for those unprepared to take that risk, there is always the threat of remaining in a state of complacency for the rest of one’s life.
With every fresh beginning comes the renewal of hope. Hope that next time around we have learned enough to improve the outcome, or at least are more prepared for what might be in store. Hope, that out of the negativity of past experience, the spark of something new can contain in it the fire bringing a promise of eventual resolution.
This can only be known by the act of doing, and painful though it may be at times, it is perhaps the only way for any of us to delight in the joy of the dance, figuratively speaking, instead of opting to sit it out on the side-lines.
Whether politically or personally, perhaps the most difficult challenge of starting anything again is the act of forgiveness often demanded from ourselves, or from others, for past hurts. Without the magnanimity of forgiveness, it is hard to see that any new life experiences can offer anything except eventual resentment, something that profits absolutely no one. And so it is that new beginnings ask of us that which is not always easy to offer – a willingness of heart to believe in happy(ish) endings and the courage to take a chance.
It may be the only opportunity we ever get to move forward.
This article is part of a series. Read the other posts here:
- Part 1 – getting into writing
- Part 2 – how I became a poet
- Part 3 – garden blessings
- Part 4 – cancer and me
- Part 5 – thank you for the music
- Part 6 – anyone for a carbonara?
- Part 7 – who cares?
- Part 8 – technology and me
- Part 9 – dementia and my family
- Part 10 – the visit to Auschwitz-Birkenau
- Part 11 – the menopause
- Part 12 – stuff