How to End it Well – Necessary Endings – Book Review

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Consciously Choosing to End Well

Necessary Endings by Henry Cloud is a book everyone should read. Endings come up in everyone’s lives, and we don’t often do them well. If you take some time to read this easy to understand and implement the book, you will find the next end you meet easier. Learning how to end it well is a life skill.

These are my thoughts and some of my takeaways from this profound book., Necessary Endings I encourage you to get your own copy and prepare for the next inevitable ending that is coming your way. It is okay for friendships and relationships to end. It is a part of life.

We love people; we invest in them. Relationships are what our lives revolve around. Whether work, family, romantic, or church-related, life is about relationships. We give mental and physical energy to those we are in relationships with. How to end it well needs to be something we consider before the time comes.

how to end it well, book cover of Necessary Endings

And when the connection comes to an end, as many do out of various types of reality and necessity, we must go through the process of taking the energy we have been investing back.

  • We must grieve for the time, love and energy we invested.
  • We face a mental and emotional process of letting go.
  • In addition, we have to deal with the reality that it is over- we either allow ourselves to feel the pain or we try to deny it or numb it.

How Emotions Help Heal – Use them to end it well

  • Anger – helps by allowing us to get through the protest portion of the healing process.
  • Sadness – helps us get unstuck, and allows us to move further along.
  • Grief – has a forward motion to it.

Through allowing ourselves to grieve, we are admitting this really is happening. This is your new reality, you are preparing yourself to move on.

How to End it Well – Finishing up when it is truly over.

  • Be kind, honest and respectful.
  • Validate the person/relationship.
  • Move on, you don’t need or want to beat a dead horse, give it an honorable burial and let it go.

Don’t rebound poorly thinking you can avoid the hurt and disappointment, and grief. Treat endings with respect.

Necessary Endings encourages us to memorialize our endings, if appropriate. See my hands-on article on burning the bad and keeping the good.

Conduct an autopsy and discern what killed the relationship.

What did not go well? What did? Keep what was good in your heart and for the next situation. Take it, savor it, remember it. Cement it, build on it, focus on it. These are the things that will help you build character and wisdom through your experience.

In Necessary Endings, Cloud suggests we eliminate what was bad. Heed the learning. The negative help us grow also, learn from them. What was not useful? It is all a part of figuring out how to end it well.

Consciously Choose to Leave Behind the:

  • pain
  • bitterness
  • feelings of failure
  • loss
  • resentment

How do you leave them behind?

  • Talk them out.
  • Cry.
  • Allow yourself to feel the pain.
  • Express your feelings.
  • Let it all go. Give it adequate attention – then leave it behind.

Go through this process and you will be better for it. That way you won’t repeat the same mistakes.

To Everything, There is a Season
…a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal,a time to break down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,…

Eccles. 3:3

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