I've been wanting to write an article for a while now, but it took longer because I observed a lot of disparate information that was difficult to put down under a single title.
In a continuous attempt to understand how I view the world I'm creating (mental) schemas (logical structures with some meaning) and one of them I will describe here, today under a title that could be a book title.
We are almost at the end of 2019 and some of us indulge ourselves into short or long accounts for the past year, but also making thoughts and statements for the coming year inspired little or a lot by the general context in which we live in.
The term 'life cycle' I remember from my communication studies at the university, where it was defined as the time that a product remains in demand. I imagine that this use of the term comes from the sciences that study nature itself and the way it works. So, nature makes fruit every year in the spring, which will be used to feed the living beings and will be withdrawn later in a process of death in autumn, to produce new fruit in the new year. Nature is 'programmed' we could say to bloom (spring), rest (summer), die (autumn), withdraw (winter). Of course, for some species, this cycle works backwards.
To a certain extent this schema can be applied to describe many other processes in this material world: a baby is born, lives, dies, a relationship is created, evolves and (possibly dying including the loss of one of the two parties), a job starts, progresses and completes.
This thought could be reassuring, because it indicates that nothing happens by chance, everything - potentially at least - belongs to a plan that we may not know in advance its duration but we can experience it by being aware of its different stages. Some things can last a minute, some a few hours, some others for a few months, some very many years. I think there is a reason for each specific lifetime, and this may be related to the general purpose of the existence of any entity in this world.
The meaning and purpose of each entity is a potential personal question that needs a personal answer.
In this article I want more to talk about the stages of any life cycle as I understand them now.
I consciously chose the term 'presence 'rather than 'birth' or 'beginning', to describe the conscious birth of a being, an idea, a situation, a relationship that from now on I will call an entity. This can begin to exist before it even appears as matter in the world. Someone can come up with an idea before it materializes, children are i the womb for some time, the desire of a relationship starts within a person first. It is the process that begins with conception because that is when, however partially, a new whole potential begins to exist, even if it lasts for a split second. If the content of the conception has some significance to the person that he initiated it, then we would expect him to continue to feeding it, to do things to maintain it in life and at some point giving it birth with 'flesh and bones' as something tangible in our material world.
There, the care of the parent continues to be needed so that the entity remains alive and develops as healthy and strong as possible to survive. Whether it's a child, a home, a business, or a relationship, for me, the principle is the same. In order to stay alive something needs an active presence of the one who wants to keep the entity alive. This presence means the flexible availability of the subject to meet the needs of the entity.
Clearly, we're not talking in absolute terms, whether and how available someone is, with what cost, what kind of needs he considers as vital survival needs and what problems the non satisfaction of those needs can cause, is a big debate. All alive beings need food, but if a parent thinks that their child needs 10 large meals a day, then we're probably not talking about survival, but maybe some other kind of need.
What is certain, however, is that in order for something to continue to flow and function well, whether it is called our body, our home, or an emotional connection, it requires effort.
At the 'continuity' stage, I include all those efforts and actions that one is willing to do to keep the entity alive. It can be regular care and protection, in case of self-sufficiency can be ad hoc support and guidance. It could be any reflective, creative or innovative action for the evolution of the entity at another level that may lead to the development of new skills which will be used to continue the safety and survival of the entity. For example, if a child has more than one interests, skills, fields of knowledge, then they may have more chances of survival because they have more ways to gain income.
Life is a set of constant changes and all the living beings we constantly need to adapt to new data both internally and externally in order to maintain our lives (with the term 'life' here I include all levels of life, materially, emotionally, spiritually).
I realise that this may sound like a constant stressful struggle but it is also a constant opportunity and relief that anything you do not want, does not necessarily have to stay the same.
One of the most difficult things that us humans have to come to terms with in the material life is that everything, sooner or later, ends, everything is subject to decay and death, which is not the case in other levels of consciousness/existence. Anyone who has lost a significant person in their lives at a young age can understand the brutal way a child is initiated into the mystery of life that extends beyond the material world, since at any given moment someone who we love and is right next to us can cease to exist and disappear. Where does the person go and what relationship he may or may not continue to have with the ceased, are again personal questions.
It is a fact, however, that at that moment, at the moment of separation, an completion takes place (conscious or unconscious), because what existed will no longer exist and will never be the same again.
The stage of completion, either voluntary or involuntary, or both, it contains simultaneously,like in the boarders of schizophrenia, the pain of the death, the sadness and mourning that something is over and also an integration, the relief of acceptance that a fruit that we loved and fought for to remain in life, it is the time for some reason to leave us and go somewhere else, just like many fruits every year in autumn they fall to be reused by the earth, for the new fruits to the perpetual cycle of life.
Each completion is a process in itself that can occur at a later time than that of separation. For example, we may make realisations about a relationship after a long time has passed since its end. Also, a relationship may seem to have ended but it may have ended with a certain form and dynamic and may continue with a different form and shape.
Whether and what meaning we give to completion and whether and how we will remain stuck in that fruit, whatever the cost, ignoring that it is part of the larger 'plan' of life are also personal questions.
My observations and intuition informed me that 2019 was a year when many cycle in a pleasant and/or unpleasant way were closed. Of course, a cycle may close at any time, but for some reason it seemed to happen this year on a large scale. All of these completions, beyond the pain and realisations that they brought with them, some of them really difficult, also left the space, time and energy, our resources, available to us to be used for the new fruit to come.
Something we always wanted to do but never found the time, something we wanted to do but were afraid to get out of our comfort zone because we didn't know how, something we didn't know we wanted, deserved, could do and now we can listen to and take care of it.
Whatever this 'something' is in everyone's life, I wish 2020 as a round Year (20-20) and the first year of a new decade, to decide and be able to listen to and take care of what is important and fulfilling for us in order to make ti happen and keep it alive for as long as there is universal reason for it.
I personally bid farewell to 2019 with a sense of acceptance, trust, optimism and immense gratitude.