Do you like to say goodbye? Gosh I am rubbish at it and it takes me forever to say it, especially if it’s a permanent goodbye. It doesn’t matter if someone has been toxic or loving in my life, letting go is just the hardest thing for me to do.
But I also know that it is a most important thing we have to do in life sometimes, that is to let things and people go when the time comes. Sometimes you are ready and sometimes you are not but let them go (with love and kind thoughts) you must.
I fall in love with people so easily. I just love people. I love their highs and their lows, I love their good bits, quirky bits, happy and sad bits, funny and unusual bits. I just love people. I know when someone new comes into my life it is for a reason and we are going to have fun, learn, exchange thoughts, emotions, ideas and I absolutely love, love love the whole relationship. I am just rubbish when it ends. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t weep and mourn for months on end as I know that we each have a journey and that one has ended but I miss them and what we had.
So, how do we manage when someone leaves or we choose to leave them? For many of us, badly. And do you know, this is okay. Even if the relationship has been toxic or has ended abruptly or badly, at some point we had an affinity, a love and connection with that person, and to lose that leaves a gap.
It is about how you fill that gap and in my experience the first thing to fill it with is love. No, not just jumping into another relationship, business partnership, friendship, or finding someone to give your heart to, it is love for yourself. You have to remind yourself that you are the most important one at that moment and you have to show yourself care, and gentleness, give yourself time to grieve that relationship and show yourself some love. Don’t beat yourself for things that were said or not said. Don’t rake over things and play ‘what if’ over and over again in your head. Don’t stay sad. Be sad but don’t stay there. Allow the overwhelm to come, if that is what you feel. Allow the tears to flow if they begin. Allow your heart to break a little or a lot BUT repair it with love and kindness for yourself.
These relationships are not just the loves of your life. These relationships are business, friends, family, acquaintances. It matters not the type of relationship, the end result can be the same. In a business sense it is not that you fell in love as you did your wife, husband, partner but you did create a bond with that person or those people and you did share respect, get to know each other on some level and yes they have probably been a financial benefit, but you have to still grieve in a sense when they leave. You have to backfill, maybe begin again with a new strategy, create new relationships or widen your client base but you simply have to pick yourself up and start again. The minute you choose anger, disappointment or frustration to stay you have given yourself a huge hill to climb in moving on and getting back on track on so many levels.
When they walk away, especially if you don’t really understand why, it can be a real wrench and you find yourself in a bit of a turmoil wondering what you did, blaming yourself, or going back through conversations. When you decide that it is time for the journey with this person or these people to be ended it can be hard finding the right words or time – I can usually find a hundred reasons to stay. The only time I can walk away easily and never look back is if someone crosses my values – if they lie, if they cheat or if they are dishonest in any way, I have no qualms about turning and walking away. I do not give second chances in these situations. I am curious as to what would make you walk with ease.
I love people. People inspire me, shape me, grow me. I love listening to them. I love being part of their time here. I love being trusted to support, listen, guide, walk alongside. What they get from being in touch with me I cannot say – that is for them to know. I hope it is positive (but being realistic I am sure that is not always the case) and I hope they feel a better person for spending time with me. All I can do is make sure I give all I have and everything I do is with openness and honesty and love. What they take away from this is up to them. I cannot control that bit.
Farewell, goodbye, au revoir, auf weidersehen, namaste – it doesn’t matter what word you use as it has a finality, an ending, a closure and must be accepted. It must be given or accepted with dignity, love, kindness and for the very best of reasons – whatever that is depends on the situation and the relationship you have. On a whim or in anger is not goodbye – it is a reason to drag it out and create pain and no space for closure for anyone.
I have said goodbye many times in my life and some took longer than others – some a few minutes and some 30 years but I found that in saying goodbye I also felt a sense of peace. A sense of personal power, courage, strength, closure and managed to take a step forward into something new. That has got to be good hasn’t it?
If today you are saying goodbye, whether to friendship, business, a loved one, or a part of you that no longer serves you, try and do it with care and love and gentleness to yourself and to them. Breathe in. Breathe out. Repeat. Life continues but sometimes differently to the plan you had in mind.