You have been my friend. That in itself is a tremendous thing.E.B. White
Since we’re moving across the country to California in a few weeks, I’m working through a myriad of emotions like sadness, excitement, fear, and others. I grew up in Florida so most of my family and friends are here. Even if life isn’t perfect, it is very comfortable here.
Whether you’ve dealt with the loss of a pet, a friendship that’s drifted apart, or maybe you are also getting ready to move, you likely understand the conflicting emotions. Saying goodbye and letting go is rough. It’s scary to leave behind the security of what we know and enter the unknown.
Tips to Make Goodbyes Easier
A big part of working through a problem is acknowledging it, giving yourself permission to grieve, and then identifying how to improve the situation. I consider this “the art of letting go.” These are a few tips I’ve learned to help make goodbyes easier.
1. Find Things You Enjoy Doing Alone
Is there a new skill you want to learn? Take the leap now and do an internet search, buy any gear you’ll need, and schedule the class. How about a restaurant you want to check out? Go ahead and grab a book and head out the door.
Learning to appreciate your company is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself. While family and old friends are wonderful, it’s also important to realize that it is possible to have fun on your own. You might even meet a few new friends while you’re out and about.
2. Take Time to Reflect
What was great about the person, place, or job that you’re leaving behind? What was it lacking? How do you feel about leaving? It helps to put your feelings into words by writing them down or talking to a friend or counselor.
It’s far too easy to simplify memories and categorize them as either good or bad when there are both positive and negatives aspects to any situation. Take time to process your conflicting emotions. Maintaining a tough exterior during challenging times isn’t healthy and can result in unexpected consequences. Let yourself feel.
Also, realize that your conflicting emotions don’t necessarily mean you’ve made the wrong decision. (That is if the goodbye was your choice.) Choosing change and the unknown over familiar people and places will result in discomfort. It is 100% normal.
3. Create Mementos to Honor the Relationship
If your family member or pet has passed, create something for yourself to help you remember the good times. Or, if you’re moving away, consider giving simple farewell gifts to friends and family to help celebrate your happy memories together. It makes us feel good to give appropriate appreciation to all the souls that positively impact our lives.
How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.winnie the pooh
Believe the Best is Yet to Come
If we never say goodbye or move on, we won’t have space for new people and experiences. I am not saying that you or I should pretend everything is fine and we are 100% okay with these big life changes.
However, I think it is important to maintain a healthy mindset and know that no matter how hard things might be today, the best is yet to come.
There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.C. S. Lewis.