As human beings, we are all extremely familiar with the stress, excitement, anxiety, and hope that transition can bring. We tend to think about transition like we would a story; every experience or season in our lives has a beginning, middle and an end.
I. The first stage of transition is actually the ending.
As T.S. Eliot noted:
What we call the beginning is often the end
And to make an end is to make a beginning.
The end is where we start from.
If it wasn’t for the ending, we wouldn’t have to start something new in the first place! By recognizing that we are in the midst of an ending, we have a chance to address our feelings about the change and take care of unfinished business. We can acknowledge what we will be losing and what we hope to gain from the change.
II. The middle stage of transition is neutrality. As Lewis Carroll writes in Alice in Wonderland:
“Who are you?” Said the Caterpillar… “I- I hardly know, Sir, just at present,”
Alice replied rather shyly, “at least I know who I was when I got up this
morning but I think I must have changed several times since then.”
Many of us tend to rush right from one thing to another, without noticing that there is a subtle but important liminal period in between every end and every beginning. This can be as big as changing jobs, moving to a new place, or simply moving from one task to another during your shift.
III. The final stage is the beginning.
It is natural for us to want to celebrate or perform some kind of ritual when a baby is born and new life is brought into this world. Doing this helps to make meaning out of all the chaos and excitement. We owe it to ourselves to bring some kind of intentionality to our own beginnings! Some people like to do this with a blessing. As you listen to this blessing, think about what beginnings you have on the horizon, what you hope for, if you will need to ask for help, and how you will provide yourself with extra care during this time:
May you have support during this transition
May you have help to move through this next stage
May you be carried in arms of support, grace, and love
So that we all may grow as a community
So that we all may birth a whole new way of being together. May it be so.