By Dr. April Minatrea - Clinical PsychologistSep 14, 2018

Don’t cry because it’s over.  Smile because it happened.   – Dr. Seuss

Dr. Seuss was half right.  It is good and healthy to cry and grieve our losses.  Yet it’s easier when we are grateful to have experienced something so special—something worth missing.

One of the most common patterns of problematic thinking is framing things in black-or-white, all-or-nothing  terms.  “Both/and” is usually more helpful than a binary “either/or.”  Change and loss can be scary and painful, but they need not be either good or bad.  They can be both.

As seasons change:

  • Keep the good. Memories of tender moments, good times, and laughs shared.  Lessons learned, skills acquired, and growth of character.  Love given and received.
  • Set aside what is for another time. Much like clothes that get packed away, some activities, ideas, or relationships are not for the current season—but can be preserved in such a way that you can come back to them if and when the time is right.
  • Let go of that which no longer serves you…or no longer serves you best. As with monkey bars on the playground, what once represented progress or helped you grow may now be holding you back from moving forward.  Let go.  Sooner or later, you must exhale.
  • Embrace the space! Leaving one thing behind makes room for another.  You don’t have to rush to fill it right away.  It’s okay to pause and notice the air being pregnant with possibility.

As the page turns, we know that every ending creates a new beginning.  May each new chapter be better than the last!

Book Recommendation: Necessary Endings by Dr. Henry Cloud

Dr. Cloud brilliantly explains how endings are a necessary part of the seasons of life.  Using the analogy of pruning, he provides a framework for embracing them even as we grieve, overcome fear, metabolize our losses, and create opportunities for new growth.