Guilt free goodbyes!

When we think of goodbye we often think of a farewell, maybe even leaving something or someone with the implication that we will never see them again. Goodbyes are often a cherished ritual that we cling to when it comes to laying a loved one to rest. There is guilt, anger, and sadness that tends to follow when that goodbye opportunity is missed. There is a sense of peace or even closure attached to being given the chance to say final words or farewell. When it comes to letting go of people or things on our own terms the lines become quite blurry. Those rituals of goodbye or even the desire to say goodbye become less common and much less likely to go as plan. But why should we harbor so much anxiety or hostility towards letting go of things that aren’t good for us? Typically, our reasoning for having such a hard time letting go falls into a few categories.

We are holding on to what once was or what we think things could be. Things may start off strong, no warning signs, then bam! It feels like our whole world has crumbled. That feeling of being blindsided is all too common. Due to things changing so expectantly, our desire is to naturally fix it back to how it was. We often want to treat people and situations the same, like they are simple fixes rather than complex problems. There is often more to a person or situation changing than just the moving parts we can visually see. There is often a psychological piece to change that has been working long before we know a problem exists. We can’t hold on to what once was when it is clearly no longer that. We cannot stay in a situation hoping for the situation to just change because we just “know” things could be better if ___ happens. I ask the question of how long will you wait for things to go back like they were or before you realize they are not becoming what you thought they would be?

Another scenario is that we confine ourselves to a pre-existing standard of how things should be. Expectations for every facet of our life develops. We create milestones and life goals but what happens when we don’t meet them by the designated time frame. It would be easy to say that we just readjust and life goes on but for many of us it doesn’t. Many of us fight against time to make it all work by said date. We will go so far as to get into the wrong relationship just to get closer to someone who will marry us, go into a career path we hate for the sake of saying we are successful, buy a car or house just to prove to others that we are doing well, or starve ourselves just to look the way we believe others expect us to look. We are essentially willing to compromise our happiness, peace, and self-worth all to fulfill some standard that we didn’t even set. Is it so bad to wait on what is for you, especially if you knew, in the end, you would be much happier?

I say all of this to say, we must say goodbye to the people and things that aren’t for us. You know something or someone isn’t for you when it begins to cost you: peace, happiness, joy, love, sleep, motivation, and passion. The list could go on but why hold on to it when it is costing you more than you are getting in return. When you make the decision to end it do it without the guilt or shame. Make the decision feeling bold and empowered knowing that you choose something that was best for you regardless of what others may think.

About Janee V. Henderson

Janee' V. Henderson is a licensed professional counselor, coach, and consultant. She is based in Kansas City, Missouri, and holds a license to service those located in Missouri, Texas, and New Jersey. Janee received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Hampton University and a Master's in Counseling Psychology from Temple University. She is currently pursuing her Doctoral degree in Counseling Psychology. Janee has certifications in Anger Management and Trauma-Informed Care.

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