I started my 21 day detox differently than I expected.
I thought I’d be cranky and only thinking about the Starbucks I wasn’t going to be able to drink.
I woke up crying a river. I knew it was time.
Some days you just KNOW you are being called to do something you don’t want to do. I felt it in my heart, in my spirit, in my weary body. I cried. I cried. I cried.
I had intended to talk about something else today. I had intended to talk about my intentions, what this 21 day period would open up for me. I got a message from a woman I TRULY admire, Reverend Dr. Stephanie Crowder, a woman who has always ended up in my life at the right time, saying the piece I asked her to write in two weeks was ready. I looked at it and cried again. I remember the picture I took of myself above, leaving out of a door with keys in my hand and cried again. It is time.
I met Rev. Stephanie (who really doesn’t ask anyone to keep up with all of her many titles but she has worked hard for EVERY ONE) at a challenging time in my life, when I pregnant with my now almost 19 year old son. I love her straight forwardness, her willingness to tell the truth and her beautiful heart. Read below. Sometimes a beautiful beginning starts with a necessary ending. Thank you, Sister.
It’s that time of year. School is nearing its end. Graduations, ceremonies, proms, and balloons abound. Teachers are shutting down smart boards. Bus drivers are turning in their keys. School crossing guards will put away hats, vests, gloves, and stop signs to boot. Within a larger national context, the sun sets on the presidency of Barack H. Obama. In just a few months the United States will bid farewell to its first Black Commander-in-Chief. There is a feeling, a tenor of the end, that’s all, that’s a wrap–closure in the atmosphere.
Ultimately all of this activity is about saying “good-bye.” It is ending something in order to begin something. The pomp and circumstance dance signals that one phase of life has ended, and yes, another commences. A stage of one’s life has crossed the finish line while yet another awaits the sound of the starting gun.
Before moving forward, it is important to relish in what will be no more. Dwell in the condition that is the past. Sit with the situation that is over and done. The art of closure means we must wrestle with what is pushing us to transition to the next. Ignoring the now makes for an unsteady, uneasy later. Glossing over the period of resolution leaves unnecessary openness. So go ahead take the time to “be” in the moment of closure.
Within Ghanaian culture in Africa, the Sankofa bird is honored. The bird symbolizes duality. It looks backward while flying forward. The art of closure acknowledges that some lessons from the previous experience need to be taken into the future. The Sankofa bird calls us to take to tomorrow elements of yesterday’s instruction. There are particular tenets that will prove helpful in the journey to come.
Yet, the Sankofa bird with its gaze behind it, positions its body to what is before it. It does not stay in the past. It does not land in what was or “stay stuck on stupid.” It moves on, moves toward, moves beyond. The art of closure compels us to realize when enough of the past, is enough. The art of closure is to know when to let go, so that you may go on.
Closure is not easy. The past is familiar, comfortable, safe, and known. The future is unsure, insecure, and partially hidden. We know how the story of yesterday ended. The tales of tomorrow with its setting, plot, and characters are obscure. Nonetheless, so that we don’t multitask the then and the now, release what happened in order to receive with open arms what’s on the horizon.
Go on–close that chapter in your life. Send it an email, a text, a direct message of been there, done that. Then, give yourself the freedom to fly, high, like the Sankofa bird in the sky.
You can tweet Rev. Stephanie at @stepbcrowder.