Saying Goodbye to What You Want to Leave Behind
We know change is inevitable and sometimes we welcome it and sometimes we don’t. A fresh start - whether chosen or imposed - is the beginning of something new. It doesn’t matter if you are volunteering to let go or if things are being pried from your grip, it’s important to say goodbye to what you are leaving behind.
At some point, where you were and what you had was exactly what and where you were supposed to be. At one point, you may have loved what you had and it might have been exactly what you needed at that time. You may have outgrown it, longed for more, or wanted simple change.
Closure. There is value in ending one chapter before beginning the next. Moving forward is always better when you aren’t looking back at what was. Unfinished business leaves room for regrets and there’s no time for that when there is a fresh start ready and waiting.
Use these steps to help you be in the best place to go for your fresh start.
Step 1. Spend some time thinking about the journey you are on. Recall the past and how you morphed into the you that you are in this moment. Reflect on the good, the bad, and the indifferent things about your current state and see what comes up.
Step 2. Whether through journaling or some other ritual, set an intention for your fresh start and consider what you need to say goodbye to in order to move forward. Do you need to let go of a habit, relationship, mindset, or physical item? There are a number of ways to ceremonially or literally say goodbye.
Step 3. Allow the mourning. There is going to be some time where things feel scary, tight, worrisome, and maybe sad. Allow yourself to feel the full range of emotions and all the subsequent things that go with it. Maybe you will feel physically ill or want to sleep or get some self care. Acknowledge yourself and plug into the resources that help.
Step 4. Give yourself a “realistic” timeline to move through the past and into the future. Set yourself up for success and hold yourself to the new standard you are setting. If you get stuck, reach out to someone for help.
Step 5. Celebrate your small achievements along the way! It is important to celebrate as you make progress and start to see change. Nothing is too small when you are starting out, and reaching milestones is an important measurement of the fresh start you will be experiencing. From treating yourself to a gift or experience to doing a happy dance, all forms of celebration are important!
Saying goodbye to the past is necessary as you make your way into the future towards your fresh start. Take the time to work through the steps and know that this too shall pass.
Boy, does this ever resonate with me right now. My ASD son is going to live with a shared-living provider on 6/1 after many years of struggling and abuse. His behavior and attitude toward me has become too much for me to handle any longer. However, I am sad and grieving. It is so hard.
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