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Beginnings-Middles-Ends (They Matter)

February 17, 2021
February 17, 2021 Sara K Schneider

She came. She saw. She conquered.
They met. They fought. They parted ways.
He chose the harder of the two paths. He got lost for a while. He followed out a new discovery to its unexpected ending point.
A beginning. A middle. An end.
That beautiful, and universal, three-part structure that opens, plays out, and resolves narratives. That introduces a theme or a task. It’s part of the magic of THE HUMAN JOURNEY®.
It’s that structure that makes us cry when, two weeks after the death of her husband, the mother of the bride walks down the aisle, her hand clutching the arm of her eldest son.
Or when the symphony scrambles, then reinvents, the theme with which it started, and ends by delighting us by sharing it in a fresh way.
Or even, just after you had determined there was no way that character could have been the murderer, and you were at your wits’ end to figure it out, the very person you had been skillfully misdirected away from turned out to lead you right back to her at the end, to the “of course!

Yet even in the realm of everyday, workaday life, those structures can lend shape and meaning to our interactions with those we serve, heal, teach, and guide in growth when we bring the simplest elements of structure or cultural ritual to our professional sessions or interactions with others.
THE HUMAN JOURNEY® uses this universal structure to guide families toward belonging, meaning, and communication at end of life, when recovering from addiction, or changing level of care. It can help veterans share of themselves with their families and returning citizens feel the way forward, supported by those who love them.
We want to give you a special gift so you can play with this structure on your own. It’s a thought experiment (a fun exercise) we developed for a presentation for a presentation to addiction counselors at Hazelden and is especially relevant to anyone who holds sessions with clients. By using the beginning-middle-end structure, and thinking about deepening the ritual dimension in the everyday, you make meaning out of your to-do list. Check it out! It’s yours.

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