Monday, December 10

MONDAY MOTIVATION: Sally Field and Elie Wiesel show us that every ending is a new beginning

Oprah and Elie Wiesel

I was catching up on a few weeks of Oprah and saw two interviews that were very different but spoke the same message to me. I have a feeling this is a message that some of you need to hear too, so I wanted to share it with all of you.

Sally Field was on Oprah’s Next Chapter last week, to talk about her new movie Lincoln where she plays the first lady, Mary Todd.  But like always, the conversation with Oprah got personal real quick and soon she was talking about her mother, who passed away during the movie’s filming.

Elie Wiesel is a holocaust survivor, author of dozens of books, and a Nobel peace prize winner. He was on Soul Sunday yesterday to discuss surviving open heart surgery at 82 and his latest book, “Open Heart”. In it he talks about the anxieties and worries that he faced as he lay on the hospital bed expecting the worst, the questions and the thoughts that went through his mind as he lay facing his death.

Both Field and Wiesel are successful - they have accomplished a lot in their careers and they’ve spoken openly about all that they overcame. And both were very open and honest about their own insecurities as they face a transition to a new part of their life.

Wiesel’s book describes in great detail the moments where he lay facing possible death and one of the questions he asked himself was whether he had done enough. This from someone who has won a Nobel Peace Prize!

Field’s talks about the struggle she faced after her mother died - on Field’s 65th birthday. With three grown children who have moved on to their own lives, she describes feeling lost for a while. It’s something we can all relate to, that feeling we have whenever our roles in life change and we struggle  to find our identity, our place in the world.

But watching both interviews I kept coming back to the same realization. As much as they have both accomplished, there is still much that they have left to do and it’s clear from the way they speak of their future. Although they've lived many years and done so much, they are both open to the new experiences that are coming their way. Throughout the interview Field keeps talking about the new part of her life that is just starting and her excitement about the future.

Iif we search our depths we all know that there is something in us that we have left to give to the world - our higher purpose maybe, or our contribution to the world. And as we work on our latest project, script or job we get so focused on what we are doing that we can lose ourselves in our work. Then suddenly, like everything must, something changes. We lose our job, our script gets rejected or funding for our project gets cancelled.

And in this moment we face our greatest test. It is in the moment of this change or loss that we must decide how to move forward. Whether we succumb to our insecurities and give up, or whether we decide to embrace the change and look for the good that will come out of it. 

A year after her mother’s death Field’s is excited about being able to do what she wants and is looking forward to enjoying her new home and this latest new phase of her life. Weisel is happy to continue teaching and lecturing, as long as it gives him time to spend with his family. Both have had a long and eventful life, and as each experience comes to an end they continue to look for the new adventure, something we all should aim to do.

Are you going through a big change in your life now? Meet me in the comments and let me know what is ending and what your hope for the future is. Change can be scary, but if you remember that every ending is a chance for something new to start it can also be a very exciting and joyful time. 

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