It’s funny how you can read the same book, watch the same movie, or seemingly live the same moment in life and walk away with a fresh take. A new perspective. Your mental state at the time has a lot to do with the message you hear amidst all of the clatter, and it is typically a big old flashing neon arrow pointing to where you need to concentrate.
We recently recognized the Good Friday holiday, a day dedicated to remembering Jesus’s final hours. Don’t go running for the hills just yet. This isn’t a preach of religion, but rather the use of a well-known story to reflect on the Power of Completion and the healing that accompanies it. Throughout the years, I have been hit by different angles of this story, and been filled with a wide spectrum of emotion- great sadness, anger, confusion. The characters in this plot and the many events leading up to his death have typically overshadowed the rest of the story. But this year, I became fixated on what he spoke before his death. “Tetelestai.” Translated, this means, “It is finished.”
How many times in our lives have we yearned for completion? True, final closure. When you walk away from an appointment with no follow-up to make. When you click your laptop closed after receiving the confirmation email from a submitted assignment. When you end a conversation with a conviction and no lingering questions. There is something about the feeling of completion- of checking off those to-dos– that leaves you empowered. Unchained. At-peace. But just as with the Power of Completion can come the Drain of the Unsettled. When we feel unsettled we search for the quickest route to pleasure. We rush what needs unrushed and try to polish what needs left smudgy. Say you went through a truly gut-wrenching experience, one that needs deep healing and time. But, instead of giving it just that, you try to expedite your emotions— panick to find the next pick-me-up— and never allow yourself to mend. Superficially, you are all glossy, but the bandages underneath tell the true story. You are left with lingering uncertainties- the quiet ache in your subconscious, the salt in the wound, that little bit of dirt in your eye. A lot of linger, and no completion.
Closing out phases of life, relationships, careers, and habits often necessitates uncomfortable finalities. Sometimes, a serious sit-down is needed to address those vulnerabilities you feel, or the forgiveness you are hanging onto, or the peace you haven’t found. And sometimes this results in hard facts. Emotional good-byes. Awkward hugs. Snotty tears. But in the end, you walk away with a completed picture–no missing puzzle piece, no wondering “what if,” no blame, no misunderstanding. You can finally be complete with the situation. Free of that linger and unsettled emotion. Accomplished in being done. And peace.
We all have these uncomfortable finalities awaiting. We all avoid them. We know the avoidance exacerbates the uneasiness. So let’s just get to it. Why wait? Get going to face those unresolved grains of salt in your life. To drink the unsweetened truth that life is messy. To close out a semi-open suitcase of emotions. You will find a genuine comfort, a true sweetness, and less baggage in your hands than you ever knew existed.