The Importance of Ritual
Because we spend so little time living in synchronicity with nature, we are also removed from rituals that help us understand and live in rhythm with the ebb and flow, the little and big “deaths” that occur in our lives.
Much of our uneasiness with endings comes from our distrust in natural processes. Having rituals that acknowledge and celebrate the earth’s natural processes can go a long way to easing our discomfort and having us fully appreciate the paradox of endings.
Many articles could be devoted to ways in which we can celebrate endings through ritual, but for now. I will simply say that any ritual that celebrates the seasons, elements or natural processes will help us to grow more deeply aware of the inherent beauty of endings. Consider that the sunniest day of the year wouldn’t stand out if every day were just as sunny. Similarly the bloom of a rose is special because we know its beauty cannot last forever. This sentiment is echoed in the words of a well-respected educator about dealing with grief in our modern secular society.
It’s only when we truly know and understand that we have a limited time on earth–and that we have no way of knowing when our time is up–that we will begin to live each day to the fullest, as if it was the only one we had (Elisabeth Kubler-Ross).
Cultivating a deep appreciation of every moment–every pleasure we experience–can be a path that helps us embrace life’s endings. Remaining conscious that only moment that the only moment that truly “exists” is the moment in which we currently live helps us appreciate that the passage of time, experiences, and our lives is simply an integral aspect of life itself.
Many of us are comfortable with a form of prayer or meditation that involves giving thanks. One way of becoming more comfortable with endings is to incorporate your awareness of the passage of time in these prayers. “Thank you for this beautiful day; this day that exists only in this moment and will, with the arrival of another moment, be gone forever. Fill my heart with deep appreciation for the fleeting nature of life and all the gifts it brings.”
Reference:Embracing Endings By Harmony Usher