Today is the last day of the therapeutic riding session I’ve been volunteering at. Unbelievably, three months have passed!
I wrote Surprised by Love when I first met the horses and riders, and now we’re saying good-bye.
It’s not a happy ending, but it is necessary.
“Getting to the next level always requires ending something, leaving it behind, and moving on,” writes Dr Henry Cloud in Necessary Endings. “Growth itself demands that we move on. Without the ability to end things, people stay stuck, never becoming who they are meant to be, never accomplishing all that their talents and abilities should afford them.”
Endings may be necessary for growth, but they sure aren’t easy.
3 ways to make necessary endings easier
First, remember that endings are natural and even good. Everything ends sooner or later—and sometimes it’s a relief! Think about frigid winters, dark nights, crying jags, boring meetings, traffic jams and long waits.
Second, honour or bless the ending in some way. Last night I made goodbye cards for our riders (pictured above). I didn’t just buy cards with horses on them; I put stickers on the front of the cards, wrote a blessing to each rider, and shared what I love most about them. It felt wonderful.
Third, know that every goodbye has the potential to bring a fresh new hello into your life. Part of me is grateful that my stint with this therapeutic riding organization is over; I’m eager to find a permanent place in the horse world and I know it’s not here. I believe endings are necessary and healthy, and that I’m meant to grow forward.
Are you struggling with an ending? You might find it helpful to say goodbye in writing. I share tips in How to Write a Goodbye Letter to Someone You Love.
Goodbye for now, my friend.