Tying up life's loose ends

Life has many, many loose ends.

Loose ends means that things are something that we wish were better or whole, but is not the way we wished it to be. They are scenarios, situations, circumstances that are left pending, hanging, incomplete.

They could be things that have happened and is unresolved in your heart, mind and life. They could be things that you're waiting for to happen, but has not.Life is full of surprises, full of things we'd like complete and whole...but often not.

...and this can be a distraught, confusing and painful event for some, if not many. I'm pretty sure that you too have incidences such as loose ends in life that you wish were more complete..or that they were never there.

An example of loose ends is a parent-figure that simply weren't there during your formative or other years of your life. Or because of a variety of reasons, a fallout happens between parents, husbands-wives, parent-child, siblings or friends. Sometimes you get played out by people you trust, be it in a business deal or just backstabbing character-assassination. Sometimes someone we know develop a terminal illness and is fraught with an unstable kind of life. In some cases, parents are abusive, alcoholics or just have poor coping skills and abilities, resulting in a lifestyle that is worrisome and anxiety-setting.

In my own opinion, I do believe and think that life is like that. It's full of unpredictabilities and unexpectancies, and I think the task that falls upon us is to take upon an understanding that life's unpredictability is normal, but it doesn't rule us or put us down. It is as such. Personally, I take on a mindset of

"I have a destination and direction, and I'm gonna keep going in that direction no matter what happens. My car may stall, my wheel may run out of air, I may need a toilet break. Whatever. It's not going to stop me, and I'm not going to spend much of my time talking about my car stalling."

What should we do with loose ends?

Some loose ends can be tied up, by direct means. That simply means you personally and manually take the loose ends and tie it up, if the situation and time is right. I called this process as removing annoyances. Depending on the type of loose ends, it simply means having a plan and taking appropriate action. Estranged family relationships require acts of reconciliation, love and hope. Financial distraught requires acts of aggressive plugging leaks and maximising income. Spiritual dryness requires preparing the heart and mind for things of the spirit, and truly seeking the things of the spirit. So on and so forth.

A better question to ask is which loose end should you tie?

With life being filled with many loose ends, it can be a never ending event of tying loose ends up, because loose ends are everywhere we are and everywhere we live. Loose ends exists in every fabric of life and living. If you take it upon yourself to tie up every single loose end, it is probably going to end up with a burnout simply because it doesn't end - there individual loose ends, relational, corporate, national, international loose ends, and others still that I may not be aware of at this point in time.

You may suffer a nervous breakdown. You may suffer an anxiety attack, because you will feel overwhelmed as they seem like they're never-ending. And you're probably right, loose ends are probably never ending, as newer and newer ones will be popping up everyday and moment, either from you increasing your awareness of them of because they do really pop up really often.

When some loose ends are too much for you

First and foremost, know that not all loose ends must be tied. It's okay to fail. You may have outgrown some. Some may still be too large for you...at this point in time. If you find that some of your loose ends are still too large and complicated for you, it's okay, tell yourself:

It's okay, I may feel overwhelmed at this point in time by these complex loose ends, but I am getting stronger, wiser and smarter, and in due time, I will be able to handle and manage these loose ends.

Hey, you may even outgrow them and find that later, these loose ends that had been pressurizing you simply isn't as large a monster anymore.

Tying up short-term loose ends

For those that require a mid-term duration of management, it is best for you to do a personal loose end audit of all the loose ends that you have in your life, and for you to list them all down, as many as you can. Group similar ones together and eliminate repetition or loose ends that are not important anymore. Be honest with yourself and highlight the top 10-12 that are most important to you, and start working on these mini-projects one month a time. Those that you can do now, do them now.

Some loose ends can be tied up relatively quickly, some can take much more time, especially if it involves other people. Example is if you find that you have had financial woes because you've been spending too much on buying mobile phones etc, it's relative easier to stop/stagger/manage further purchases as opposed to if you have an estranged relationship with your spouse/parents/sibling, where it takes two hands to clap no matter how calm and insightful you may be.

It'd take you about a year to complete your prioritized loose ends.

Personally, I've dropped many loose ends that previously were very important to me, but after pulling out from the situation or relationship, it often fizzles to nothing. In some cases, it is the other people in your life that seems to "push things" down your throat, and they can be very uncomfortable and distressful. An instance was when I was staying with my family, we were often loggerhead about many matters, and in some instances we have turned to shouting matches before. Though that happened when we were very young, about 9-16 years old, these were seasons that I don't think that are easily forgotten, though I've forgiven.

Interestingly, when I moved out when I was 20 years old, and as I stayed in my own places, renting first and slowly buying and owning my own place with my wife now, I grew to understand and appreciate where my family are coming from. I appreciate my own home, the way no one else will appreciate my home, and I believed that because of this, my parents felt that their home was not appreciated by us, which led to a further build-up of misunderstanding and resentment. Of course to this day they'll deny it, but it's something that I picked up. =)

What about you?

Do you have any build-up of resentment towards yourself, your habits, your home, the people you know and hang out with? Do you resent your job? Your financial management? Where you're at in life? Do you resent the idea or notion that you seem to be stuck? Or are you resentful that you don't know where to start? Do you resent the idea that you want to start an online business but don't know how?

Like what happened to me in my family's home when I was young, some loose ends are caused by an external environment, which can be shed should you so desire by an internal decision and choice followed by an external action. You can choose to shed old books, old ideas, old traditions that are weighing you down, and seek new books, new ideas, new concepts that uplift you and allows you to grow. Start where you are at. Pay more attention to what you think and feel, ditch the TV and live a more conscious life.

Walk away from things that disempower you, and embrace things that do empower you. Tie up loose ends that are important, shed those that aren't.

You'd do okay.

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