New Day, New Chapter

You have to power through at any given moment - to say that this is NOT the end of my story.

Not everything has a happy ending, but that’s life.  Just pick up the pieces and move on to the next chapter.

  – Unknown

Something tragic happened here.  A bridge was destroyed or a chasm opened up where there used to be solid ground.  Sounds like some relationships doesn’t it? You meet someone, get to know them.  Start loving and trusting them.  Years may go by with you both the best of friends.  Maybe it is even a sibling or a parent.  Something breaks down in the relationship and everything ends.  It could be gradual or suddenly without warning.  The father cuts off the child because the child isn’t doing what the father wants.  The brother and sister get into an ugly fight, saying unspeakable things as only those who truly know us can.  Years go by without them speaking to each other.  Your best friend cheated with your spouse.  All kinds of stories and possibilities.

The moral of this story is that no matter how much we try, no matter how much we want it . . .  some stories just don’t have a happy ending.

  – Jodi Picoult

Or this could be the job that you thought you were indispensable at.  You worked long hours – days, nights and weekends spent away from your family.  You poured your heart and soul and even your identity into the job and they fired you or laid you off, or the company shut its doors.  No warning, no idea it was going to happen.  You are devastated.  You feel you are a failure.  You feel like you were used up and then thrown out with the trash.

There are moments which mark your life.  Moments when you realize nothing will ever be the same and time is divided into two parts – before this, and after this.

  – Fallen

Or maybe something terrible happens.  Like my sister, your only child is murdered.  The loss of the child ends your marriage and you find yourself lost and alone.  Or maybe it is tragic news for your personal health.  So many possibilities of tragic things that can happen in our life, that leave us lost, alone, afraid and thinking that our life is over.

Anyone who tells you to get over it and stop living in the past clearly doesn’t understand the concept of time.  If you’re feeling it now – it’s the present.

  – Ranata Suzuki

The thing that all these stories have in common, is that we need to grieve what the loss to us is.  We need to go through the stages of grief for the loss, and then let go of the guilt, anger, lost love, loss or betrayal.  It seems that when these things come into our lives we get into a fighting mode.  We fight to hold to what is falling off the edge of the tracks, and then we fight to let it go before it drags us down the chasm with it. 

Grief never ends . . .   But it changes.  It’s a passage, not a place to stay.  Grief is not a sign of weakness, nor a lack of faith . . . It is the price of love.

  – Unknown

There always comes the day when you feel like you’re actually going to start to live again.  They start gradually.  You find yourself smiling or laughing.  It might shock you at first.  But gradually the grief lessens and the joys start coming back into your life.   You become less scared, less terrified that you are so broken you can’t imagine being whole again.  You start grabbing onto scraps of courage.  You realize that there is a sacredness to tears.  They cleanse our soul.  They speak not only of the grief we are going through, but also of the love we had.  You know that you are turning a corner, when you can hold the grief in one hand and the love in the other and realize that you don’t have to pick one.  You realize that when you put your hands together, they are just opposite sides of the same coin. 

The weird, weird thing about devastating loss is that life actually goes on.  When you’re faced with a tragedy, a loss so huge that you have no idea how you can live through it, somehow, the world keeps turning, the seconds keep ticking.

  – James Patterson

What you realize when you are stumbling through the “dark night of the soul” is that it is like a natural disaster has hit you.  It tore everything you have built off the foundations.  The wood, the windows, the roof, and the pieces are lying around like someone smashed a popsicle fort.  Like Humpty Dumpty, you feel like you can’t be put back together again.  But what you also realize when the pity party has broken up and all of the revelers have left you alone, is that this is also something wonderful.  Because instead of being unhappy with your floor plan; instead of just repainting the same walls and ceilings trying to dress up something you were already unhappy with – you get to rebuild from the foundation up.  You get to build from rock bottom a new solid foundation with the floor plan of your dreams and the best paint colors you can dream up.  You get a “do over” and get to rebuild your life.  You decide, you choose to be the Queen of your own specially designed life.

One day she finally grasped that unexpected things were always going to happen in life.  And with that, she realized the only control she had was how she chose to handle them.  so, she made the decision to survive using courage, humor, and grace.  She was the Queen of her own life and the choice was hers.

  – Kathy Kennet

 A new pattern of thoughts – using the brain in your head, heart, and root chakra – I listen to my soul’s voice of intuition and seek fulfillment of my life purpose.  I realize that I don’t have to have it all figured out to move forward towards my dreams – just the next step.

A new way of using the emotional vibrational scale  – to stay in positive emotions.  When the negative emotions come up, like a wave riding into the shore, we allow them to dissipate into the sand and be released.  We don’t hold on to them, but like the foams left behind as the wave withdraws, the negative emotions simply fade away.

A new spiritual connection to the world – I face myself and fully accept who I am, perfectly imperfect person that I am.  A divine child of God.  With a divine commission to fulfill.

A new belief system –  of being daring and different, not afraid to live out loud who I really am.  I am a person of integrity towards my life purpose and with imaginative vision I seek to walk my own path in love, trust, and grace.

Your life will consist of a series of times when you must reinvent yourself.  We desperately cling to the idea that things should stay the same, but life and growth are about change.  Don’t mistake the end of a chapter for the end of the story.  Lean into the plot changes, and follow your character arc.  If you are in a dark part of your tale, know that this night will not last forever, but you must be brave enough to see it through.  This is not the end, oh no my friend.  Take courage, better things await you.

  – John Mark Green

Sheryl Silbaugh

I am married with 4 grown children who are all married and currently have 14 grandchildren and two great granddaughters. I work fulltime as a Director at Bank of America and I am the founder of LemonadeMakers.org, which is a website and Facebook page dedicated to personal transformation and growth. We all have life's lemons show up in our life, this website helps us to make them into lemonade.

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