Looking to the start of a new year can be exciting. It can be the time to plan ahead, and dream of good things to come.
But to make way for new beginnings, it’s important to let go of anything that is going to hinder or harm you. Nobody has an infinite amount of physical time, or emotional energy. So it makes sense to use what we have on relationships that will benefit not drain. That are reciprocal, not a burden.
We all have relationships in our lives that come to a natural end. For whatever reason our contact with that person has run its course. We move on without a sense of loss or pain.
But there are other relationships that we cling to. Or we continue to involve ourselves in, with the hope that there will be a shift in commitment, interest or behaviour. And it’s those interactions that we need to reflect on. Perhaps it’s time to say ‘goodbye’?
Life is too precious to waste on others who are ultimately using or abusing.
I wish I had learnt this sooner. I wasted so much of my life on my mother. Years of thinking, talking, worrying, crying, soul-searching. And all for nothing.
When my mum abandoned me as a young child, it wasn’t until much later that the impact of her actions came into force. I spent years wondering about her, blaming myself, searching for some answers. And as an adult when I discovered she had told everyone that I had been killed in a car crash, I was in agony. But my emotions were misplaced. I was grieving for the loss of my mother, but instead I should have been grieving for myself.
Instead I sought refuge in alcohol and my life spiralled slowly into the depths of despair. I had to hit rock bottom before I was ready to let go of my mother. Letting go was a gradual process of dealing and disposing of the rubbish that filled my mind. It was ‘Goodbye’ to self-hatred, worthlessness, guilt and shame. And a ‘Farewell’ to the oppressors of addiction, depression, loneliness and fear.
With time, prayer and courage I was able to overcome the negative connections of the past. In doing so I became emotionally available. I opened up my heart, mind and soul to those who could respond out of a true sense of friendship and love. Just as importantly, I learnt how to end relationships. What freedom!
It’s crucial to recognise those relationships that are harmful or futile. But if you decide that now is the time to end your involvement, be prepared. Don’t underestimate how difficult, how painful or how long it can take to let go of a relationship. The more you have invested the harder it will be to break free.
“New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings.”
But keep strong and it will be worth it. Visualise how you want to live your life. Surround yourself with good people. Kind people. Say ‘hello’ to those who inspire you and fill your life with light, joy and passion.
Accept those that accept you.
Embrace those that embrace you.
Love those that love you.
And as for the rest – time to say ‘goodbye’.