When I sat down to write this, I couldn't help but think of the Boyz II Men song...
Goodbyes are difficult but they are important. We've all said goodbye to people, places and things. Goodbyes can be uncomfortable and I feel as though people are starting to avoid anything and everything that makes them uncomfortable so I wanted to take a little time to remind us all why saying goodbye is good for us.
Mark The End
I love to read, especially fiction. There is something both satisfying and sad about seeing the two little words, "The End" when I have finished a book. There is happiness and a sense of accomplishment getting to the end but then I'm sad because I have to say goodbye to the characters I've met. Hopefully, the story has left me with something I can reflect on (like "All the Light We Cannot See" - that book gave me a lot to think about). But there have also been books that I may have thought were missing pages if those two important words hadn't been there.
Saying goodbye to a person place or thing, helps us mark the end. Sometimes we are glad to mark the end of things like graduations. Other times, it is a little more painful but may be no less important. Funerals, for example, are a way to mark the end of someone's life.
The End is NOT Closure
I don't agree with the idea of closure. I think it is a lovely fantasy!! For me, closure is when something is wrapped up in a neat little bow. Like, "The End" at the end of a book that leaves the characters living happily ever after. But that doesn't happen in real life.... The happy couple rides off into the sunset but then their flight gets delayed and he gets food poisoning on the flight and her bag gets lost by the airline and... real life happens then keeps happening.
For me, the end and saying goodbye has nothing to do with closure and everything to do with marking the time and honoring the experience - good or bad. Much like after a funeral, you may still be hurting and missing the deceased loved one. By attending the funeral you have marked the time and in a purposeful and mindful way, you have honored that your relationship with that person has transitioned from a relationship in real time to one of memory.
Yes, Places and Things Too
I lived in my last apartment for about 8.5 years. I was not in love when I moved in and I certainly did not love it when I moved out. But when I was packing up the last of my things I thought about the time spent there. A LOT about my life changed while I lived in that apartment. For a while I sat in the empty space and thought about the experiences I had had in those walls. That was my way of saying goodbye. I don't miss it at all but it was important to me that be grateful what I was taking with me. Whether it is a home, an office, a city that you are leaving, don't forget to say goodbye to the place.
I'm certainly not suggesting that each and every item you discard or let go of should be said goodbye to but certainly important items. It is easy to forget that we can imbue items with meaning and feelings. Allow yourself to discard items with intentionality and respect the time they have served you.
It's For You
Saying goodbye is for you, not just the other person. Ghosting isn't just bad for the person who was ghosted, it is also bad for the person who did the ghosting. When you hide from or avoid your own feelings because they make you uncomfortable, you do yourself a disservice. It is important to remember that the feelings may be uncomfortable at first but they will pass. When you deal with your feelings, instead of haunting you later, they can serve you now.
As always, I’m here. If you are ready to work on having the life you want, call me and let’s get started!