Learning How to Say Goodbye


When we allow someone to come into our lives, we rarely imagine the moment when they’ll have to leave us. And yet it is imminent — every relationship is absolutely guaranteed an ending, whether it be through death, divorce, relocation, sheer boredom or a handful of other annoying reasons. Unfortunately, there’s no real way to predict the effect each one will have. Some goodbyes are a surprise that kick you in the gut and disrupt everything. And others, you hardly notice at all and life just moves right along. But any ending to a relationship, especially a painful one, can be a transformative experience if you allow it to be.

Embrace What You’ve Learned 
They say everyone that comes into your life teaches you something and that no relationship, big or small, is ever a complete waste of time. When saying goodbye to someone, it’s helpful to see how you’ve have changed since the first hello. Whether it’s a complete shift in thinking or simply gaining a new piece of knowledge, we always leave a relationship with more than we came into it with. And honestly, that’s a pretty cool gift to focus on. Just think: who knows how long it would have taken you to learn what you learned here if the relationship never happen? What awesome things can you do now that you’ve learned something new? When we focus on these gifts and accept (not reject) the loss of the relationship, we eventually find the space to bloom into a better version of ourselves.

Try Feeling All the Feels
Often, we don’t understand how much someone has meant to us until they’re no longer in the picture. Even goodbyes from people you’ve only known for minutes can sometimes flip your whole world over — which is kinda cool and little scary. However, whenever a goodbye brings up intense emotions, it’s a good practice embrace the 3T’s — Tears, Tissues and Time. Let yourself mourn the loss for as long as it takes. The sooner you do it all the way, the sooner it’s all over.

And actually let yourself feel everything you feel — sadness, anger, depression, excitement, relief, etc.. It helps us to better understand ourselves and the things we really want in life, as well as the relationships we want to have. Try finding an activity that allows you to ride the waves of emotion flowing inside of you, like going for a walk, writing in a journal, taking a trip solo or staring at the ocean (my favorite). Pick something that let’s you slow down and be still, so you can feel everything uninterrupted. If you need a deep cleansing, grab a therapist and talk all the feels out. After some time, and some tissues, and maybe a few journal entries, you really do start to feel better.

Embrace The Change
The ocean, much like change, can be very overwhelming. But also like change, the best part about being near the ocean is allowing yourself to fully dive into the water. Every time, a whole new world opens up to you and quite often it’s better than you ever imagined. The same goes for when we embrace the change that comes along with the end of a relationship. Even though it’s uncomfortable at first, after the 3T’s and positive reflection, quite often we are surprised at just how good the end can actually feel. Don’t believe me? Just watch these underwater cave divers. Try telling me the darkness is so scary after you see how beautiful and fun the world can actually be. 🙂


    • BD Rodriguez

      Oh Mary, I’m so happy it does. Thinking of you always.

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