It’s not easy to let things go when we need to or even when we have to and have no choice.
The first thing is to begin to adjust to the idea that what needs to let go of will be going away and get used to the idea.
This first step will be difficult because no one likes change but we must accept it, as it is a big part of life. We all must accept changes every day, some big, some small, but as they say, it’s the only thing that’s constant.
Next is to begin to imagine experiencing life without the person/place/item/situation and accept that it will no longer be there. Take the time to adjust yourself to the upcoming void and welcome a new norm. It won’t be easy. Picture what life will be like or how it will feel and begin to reflect on how it served you, for both good and bad.
After counting your blessings, reminiscing about the things you are grateful for and what you learned, take time to look long and hard at what you are saying good-bye to just as it is, not dressed up in false hopes or inflated or deflated in anyway. See it for exactly what it was. Realize that you will never be the same for having experienced it and “it,” whether it be a person or place, will never be the same without you either.
Now the grieving starts.
The most difficult step of all is feeling the loss, feeling the sorrow for what once was that is or will be no longer. Even if that something that you’re letting go isn’t healthy or good for you, it’s still difficult to let it go of if you felt connected or attached in some way.
Let the sadness and grieving stay for as long as it needs to, coming and going as it will, and you’ll most likely go through the bargaining phase, flowing back and forth between not wanting to accept, feeling helplessness or regret, and then hopefully feeling gratitude for the positive things you gained.
Finally you will reach acceptance and the new “normal.” By this point, you have said your big good-bye and begun to make peace with the loss and you’ve begun to move on.
Perhaps something new has entered the picture, something that can serve you even better in some way, or bear new gifts.
The old will hold a special place in your heart, you will learn to cherish the memory and hold on and continue to learn from it, even if you still feel some sorrow for what was lost. It’s now balanced out with new energy and an added richness and depth since you value it more and since you can appreciate how it served you in becoming the person you are today.
Change is hard and saying good-bye is too. Sometimes I feel like a child wanting to have a tantrum in protest but then I realize that I have no choice but to accept it. Then I thank it for what it provided to me, for the opportunity to have the experience, put my big girl pants on, dry my eyes and say my good-bye for good. It’s bittersweet but in the end I know that nothing lasts forever.
That’s why it’s so important to take it in while you have it, and savor it as much as you can before it goes away.
Taste the sweetness of life, let time and distance be a teacher, and then let a new flavor come and go as it’s meant to. And if you need to, keep a memento or take some mental pictures, relive the goodness from time to time so you never forget, and always remember what was once loved will never be lost.