THE BLOG

Recognizing the Strength of Vulnerability in New Beginnings

05/11/2015 03:53 pm ET | Updated May 11, 2016

When people say the year is coming to a close, it means one of two things: it is either New Years Eve marking the literal end of a calendar year, or it is the end of an academic year or experience in the spring. The end of the year means the loss of the old and the gains of the new. It is sunshine after months of darkness and the warmth that thaws the ground as the grass grows and stands a little straighter. Every end is both an extraordinary opportunity and a remarkable finish. The end of an education, a career, a relationship or a life all hold an astonishing power.

If it is the end of something negative, we may not realize at the time that it is an opportunity for our lives to be released from the burden of a presence or scenario that was limiting our potential. If the loss is of something positive, we are usually overwhelmed with sadness and ironically weighed down though a piece of ourselves and our lives has disappeared. When we lose something or someone, or complete an academic career of any sort, life has the potential to become still. We try to return to a specific time and a specific place with the hope of a possibility to feel again as we once did. We do not allow ourselves to let go; we resist the urge to do so. Why would we want to release something or someone that has had an extraordinary impact on our lives? The truth is, though, you have to let go of everything you were in order to become who you will be. It is not easy, and it never will be, but it allows you to avoid remaining stagnant and to grow into everything you have the potential to evolve into.

When you lose someone or some place, it becomes difficult to find the willingness and desire to feel something new. Being alone is more often than not synonymous with being vulnerable, and in our society, being vulnerable more often than not evokes fear and shame. New beginnings and moving on require vulnerability. Allowing yourself to be exposed to what scares you requires tremendous strength and courage. You may not believe it, but it is okay. It is okay to let go. It is okay to feel something new. It is okay to feel afraid and alone. It is okay to allow yourself that chance. If it was a positive experience, or someone you loved dearly you have lost, you will not even have to let it go entirely, as a piece of it or them will always be with you wherever you go.

Therein lies the beauty and the magic of allowing yourself to accept and continue.

If you allow yourself to be fully immersed in your experiences, relationships and the emotions that result from them, you will be able to recognize them for all that they are and allow yourself to accept what has been and what will be.

When you have reached the top of a mountain you were tethered to for the entirety of the climb, it is difficult to unhook yourself despite the fact that you are safely planted on the ground. In order to recognize all you have conquered, though, and to be able to appreciate those who have helped and supported you along the way, you need to detach yourself from the things that are now behind you. You are not removing them permanently from your life or memory; you are providing yourself the opportunity to pursue all they have helped prepare you for. The people and the places you have known have helped water you and bathe you in sunlight because they wanted nothing more than to see you blossom. Now, because of them, because of all you have experienced, you have the ability and opportunity to bloom wherever you are planted.

Do so.

Do so for those you have loved and lost and those who have helped you become everything you are today. Because of all of them, and all that you have experienced, conquered and survived, you are ready to allow yourself this chance.

It is okay. You are okay.

You are ready for the sun to rise and to welcome a new day and a new experience.

You are ready to begin again.