Closing the cottage is an annual ritual we go through. It always brings mixed emotions. Of joy we had that summer but also sorrow that we’re leaving it soon and not seeing it for months. After that weekend, my mind wandered to the many chapters in my life that must be closed. I need to revisit them one more time and gently close the doors.
I do this so I can move on. I have seen friends older than I am stuck in some chapters of their lives and can’t seem to move from there. Repeatedly, they would return to the significant people and events there, focusing their interest on those.
Many Seniors are not able to get out of those. They get stuck often because very little happens in their lives. My older friends and I often laugh at our appointment calendars as they only include doctor’s visits as the most significant event of that month.
When we’re young, we’re busy experiencing things and collecting memories, not remembering them. I know it’s time to let go and have closures in some of my life’s charters. I thought about how to do this.
I know I have ignored some of these chapters and fear visiting them. Can I handle what comes out of some of these boxes? They’re like boxes in storage; when you open the door, they start falling off, leaving a mess all around. So, I hesitate, but the all is there, and I can no longer ignore it. I need to close these and move on with my life, looking forward to the future.
So, I start by reflecting on which chapters to handle first. Some are easy to accept. I thought about the lessons I have learned from the experience, the growth that took place in me, and the wisdom I have gained from those experiences. Listen to the emotions that arise as you reflect on the chapter. Feel its expression. It helps to talk to a friend with you in that chapter. She can offer a different perspective to help you accept the people and events that confront you from this era. In your journal, write down some of your experiences, noting in particular the attachments that still tie you to this chapter. Continue reflecting on it and slowly accept things that you have ignored before. Then, let go.
Letting go is often difficult, especially when the attachment to the person or event in that chapter is solid. Create a ritual such as burning letters, pictures, or other significant objects that tie you down and stop you from letting go. Cut the attachment. There is always pain, but this is part of the process. Release your wings as you go through the pain.
Embrace the possibilities now facing you, having freed yourself from the attachment. In my own experience, I have difficulty letting go when I get stuck in friends. I fail to appreciate the new friends that come my way. Only when I let do, I see the new ones coming my way.
Closing chapters in our lives is a process, not a one-time event. We keep reflecting, accepting, and letting go. A wise sister told me in the past that I could only let go of something once I had taken it as my own. So, owning and letting go continues and embracing possibilities and new chapters. Such is life. Keep living.