How to Say Goodbye: Letting Go of Good-Byes
What is your relationship to good-byes? To the end of a journey / an adventure / a relationship / a phase?
It was recently brought to my attention, one’s magnificent relationship to “the end.”
I don’t know about you - but I have never really given how I respond to "Good-Byes" much thought...
When the time comes to say good-bye, to really anything, what is your initial response?
Do you gravitate towards love and abundance?
Do you feel full and satisfied?
Are you grateful for the time and experience?
Do you savor what was and look forward to new beginnings?
Do you feel lonely and afraid?
Do you feel like you are loosing something?
Does an ending feel like a lack, an emptiness?
Are you dissatisfied and criticize the end?
Does an end stir up feeling of loneliness and fear?
How do we relate, understand and process the end of something?
I find this concept completely fascinating as I was never given the tools to process many experiences and as I have become more intentional about my life and how I move in it - the concept of our relationship with endings is a BIG investment in our self-care.
How do you react when something ends, and things end all the time, from a single day, a TV show, your 20’s … It can be BIG or Small. Endings are happening all around us.
So my question is (and I have more questions then answers here)
Does it feel safe in your body?
Do you feel excited and anticipate what is next?
Do you feel full, blessed and cherish the experience?
Or, do you feel afraid because it is over?
Does the over-ness feel tight, stiff and contracting?
Do we feel like we are heading into lack?
Good-byes are hard … and why? Why is it hard to say good-bye?
This concept was brought up in my mastermind. I am part of an amazing group of women directed by thought leader, Kate Northrup. Kate is an inspiring woman leading other inspirational women to essential Do Less. She supports women in harnessing their intrinsic energy in a way that works, nurtures and creates abundance not lack or depilation.
We have supported one another through 2020 (the most challenging year of many pf our lives) and our program is coming to a close. I am having many “feels” good and bad about my time in this group as it come to an end. Endings are hard and these women have brought much light into my life especially during this rather dark and constricting time. Frankly, I am not ready for my time with them to end.
With her wisdom, Kate brought this concept to our attention, what is our relationship with “The End.” How do “endings” resonate through your mind and body?
I must say it was a “light bulb” moment for me.
For as much as I live intentionally, this concept of our relationship with “endings” is completely new to me and playing with this concept has been life changing and freeing on so many levels.
In that moment I knew her words were powerful as everything paused, time stood still. This is a pause that I am forever grateful for.
Kate’s words ran through my body, down to my feet as my flesh erupted in goose bumps and I had a completely visceral moment.
The body communicates the lessons we need to know. There could have been a split moment (and in the past, in a different space, time, age) I may have shut completely down. Felt too self-conscious to understand what my body was reacting to - however, with age, I am very aware of what triggers me is usually the lesson I need to lean into more. The lesson that I will repeat over and over again unless I take agency and allow myself to feel what my body is telling me and hear, heal and finally learn the lesson.
For I am not good with Good-Byes. I come from a childhood of deep loose and abandonment. Good-byes feel scary to me. It is a sensation that has stayed with me my entire life. I get scared that I won’t have what I need, I feel lost and lonely and unfulfilled. I worry that I will be alone without support…
Life is so remarkable and the lessons are deep as I didn’t even realize that I did this 👀 This response is so deeply subconscious.
AND, if I want to raise resilient adults (because I am raising adults not children) I need to do better! I need to show them that endings are the start of so much and we must let the old fall away to embrace what is to come. I must nurture myself and my relationship to endings because my children will follow in my footsteps. I must lead.
Oddly enough the following week one of our dogs (that was rather young) had sustained a spinal injury and within days we had to put him down. The Universe works in such mysterious ways. As I had to walk my children (10 & 8) through saying good-bye to our beloved family member. The whole time I focused our abundance, the love and joy we felt being able to have Arrow in our lives for 5 years. Putting a pet down is one of the hardest parts of pet ownership and I know plenty of people that will not have pets because it is so challenging. As an avid dog owner I will ALWAYS have a pup. We had 3 before Arrow left us two weeks ago.
With that said, I am raising dog owners and this is only their first experience and as my 10 year old wise daughter said, “I need to see this and experience it because I need to be prepared to do this in the future.”
So, I took my lesson and put it into practice. I encouraged my family to talk about all the fun times, all the laughter (and frustration because Arrow was a high strung pup) and explore abundance in the process of a major ending. So many lessons here and opportunities of growth, knowledge and understanding.
So, I wanted to send this out there for anyone that needs to hear it.
As mothers, parents, humans, endings are a magical part of evolution and progress.
Endings are all around us. They actually make our life magnificent. They usher in the new, the fresh, the more, change is constant and there is ALWAYS more to come. How we see the world creates our reality and I am all for letting go of lack and living in abundance.
I now have a ritual for endings.
I thank what has been and give gratitude towards that experience, time, place, friendship, etc. I give myself patience to learn from what has come because sometimes the lessons take time. I may not truly know why somethings has come to pass in the moment AND I trust that it is time to move on. There is no deficit here for every single event in my life serves me in some shape or form. Even if the transition is hard, I walk forward, straight into the unknown because that is where the my life is, straight ahead. Not in the past.
As a healer and secular Buddhist I know my awareness and work brings freedom to my life. Frankly, I don’t want to have a bad relationship with endings. I don’t want to feel like I am loosing anything.
I want to feel full, satisfied and content. Such shifts are all my responsibility and choice. I choose how I response to the end. I have all the power!
I have spent a lifetime investing in my physical, emotional and mental health. It is a practice I am conscious of everyday of my life and all this is a bases for the work I do and the classes I teach on childbirth and resilience. Life is challenging and in the challenge there is much change. We must let the change come and embrace the new.
With that said, this is the end of this fantastic blog and I feel very satisfied with it.
I am sending this out into the world to allow those that need to hear it. To offer support in embracing your relationship with endings. To stand by your side as I see you. We are not alone even in the end. There is much happening in this moment and I know that the BEST is yet to come. Sending resilience, agency and love your way.