“New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings” – Lao Tzu
Another day in the limbo known as the 2020-2021 transition. These days the only constant I can rely on is the soothing steam of the coffee provided by my Keurig. The days have all been blurring some fast, some slow. The momentary joy found in a funny text from a friend or a childhood picture shared continue to be the grounding experience remembering there was a life before masks and societal division. With today being Inauguration Day, emotions are high. Some filled with joy and promise, others apprehension and disappointment. All the fixings of change and more importantly, new beginnings.
As a therapist, change is something that defines daily life. Whether it be me trying to change my reactions or assisting others in embracing the concept of change in their own lives. Let’s face the music. New beginnings are scary. They aren’t this gorgeous event defined by winning the lotto or instant gratification. Beginnings shack is to our core. Blood, sweat, and treats. Piss and vinegar with a side of self doubt. Usually a person has to find the beginning in the soul crushing termination of what life was before a precipitating event.
Every person has been there. Whether it’s a new relationship, a new job, or a new president on a grand scale. The important reminder to take from the process is to remember who each person is. When something ends, it is usually because a part of who we are has identified that we deserve more. With political climates, it is focused on a group of people. However, one imperative truth of change is that it is not over night. The process is gradual. Every day we need to show up with the mindset that triggered that change. Psychology says that go with the decision that terrifies because it will grow you.
In that context, if we are scared or uncomfortable, we need to show up for ourselves. We need to feel that apprehension and do it anyway because we need to remember we deserve growth and peace within ourselves. A new president will not unite people. The citizens unite people. Unification begins with embracing the human condition. Knowing that those who may be different from us on the surface, still have hopes and dreams. They want the best for their family from their own frame of reference.
Moral of the story- as Americans we need to show up. Show up as ourselves not our politics. Show up for the person next to you. Show up for what the American flag represents. Walk alongside to understand, because I know this is hard to fathom but we as humans do not know everything. If we walk alongside each other, we might learn something. More importantly, show up for others as we seek peace within ourselves.
In reflecting on the quote by Lao Tzu, the fear of new beginnings can be overwhelming on numerous levels. However, there is a facet of the process defined by excitement and wonderment. We cannot live a fulfilling life with the inner adult controlling us with fear individually. We need to allow ourselves to play. Weather it be through memes or in my case processing the fact that there is a woman being sworn as Vice President today. Regardless of political opinion, this is significant for me personally after hearing of women trailblazers in school, which validated my identity to my core. By no means are our problems solved as many continue to be lost to CoVid, but when we focus on what can constantly “go wrong,” why is it such a travesty to contemplate “what can go write for once?”
The American people will always be the reason as to why America is great.
God bless us all as we enter the next chapter.
God bless America, always. 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸