What if we began at the end and then proceeded from there?
What if we ended before we began?
We all focus on beginnings and celebrate the starts without any thought about possible endings.
You may be asking whatâ€™s the point of thinking about endings since they are often unpredictable and inevitable?
The one word answer I can offer is prevention.
“If we can own the story then we can write the ending.” -Brene Brown
Itâ€™s true that many outcomes are unpredictable. Itâ€™s also true that endings are not always in our control like the end of a marriage, a job or even death.
However, pretending or denying that anything can end at any time and in any way isnâ€™t always the most useful approach.
Taking a preventive approach to life is challenging because we donâ€™t want to think about negative outcomes until we have to or until we are in such crisis itâ€™s unavoidable.
Most of the time the power of what we want to see and believe is stronger than the reality, and this is particularly true when the reality is too much to bear.
Think about the last time you were faced with an ending.
Were you prepared in any way emotionally or psychologically?
Did you know it was going to happen but didnâ€™t acknowledge it in any real way?
When the harsh truth that everything comes to an end is consciously accepted and honored it allows for a deeper appreciation of what you have.
It also allows you to enter into something from the start with a clear understanding of how precious it really is allowing you to make choices that raise your chances of a better final outcome.
If you’re aware and awake to the possibility of an ending you can make conscious choices within your present experience that can influence, and in some cases protect you from a painful loss.
In essence you can either become more prepared for the inevitable or you can gain some control over the present to impact the future.
This is true with your health, your relationships, your life transitions and even the organic losses we all face.
I wonder what would change if really knowing you could get divorced before marrying would change anything?
Would you choose to not do it or would it make you more invested in making the relationship work?
If you began every day with the realization that you could die would you do anything different? Live more fully or maybe even be kinder?
I know this is a big subject, but I think itâ€™s worth contemplating and even practicing.
The idea of ending before beginning is a novel concept, but one I think we could all engage in just a little bit to deepen our connection with ourselves, others and the world.
Dr. Andra Brosh March 23rd, 2015