How do we honor our relationships when we have to say goodbye?
With our monthly focus on Honoring Your Relationships, (#2 truth from the blog series, Returning to What is True – 12 Truths for Wholehearted Living) we get to honor our relationships in saying goodbye well.
In coaching individuals around the world, this is a universal theme each of us can relate to wholeheartedly. We have all said goodbye to individuals whether it is in leaving a job, moving away, letting go of a relationship that’s grown apart, or saying goodbye in dying.
Saying goodbye is never easy on the heart. But to live wholeheartedly, it is important to explore ways to do this well.
How can we step into our goodbyes with grace and wisdom? While still holding both the tension of strength and sensitivity?
There are choices we have in saying goodbye, but it first starts with having the loving courage to consider what it means to finish well.
How do I want to finish well in this relationship? What does it mean to say what needs to be said? How do I say it with both strength and sensitivity? These are questions that can guide us.
Recently, I was able to witness this intentional awareness with a courageous soul who left her job of 15 years. We discussed her desires for leaving and the dysfunction of the company that had left her exhausted. It was an honor to take the journey together as she held the balance of engaging her strength and sensitivity.
Strength was required to clearly communicate what needed to be said. Sensitivity was needed to know how and when to communicate…or if at all. She embraced this journey with so much intentionality that I felt like giving her a standing ovation when she left!
There was a gentle strength about her departure in spite of her frustration because her focus was on finishing well. This provided her with the emotional energy to make good decisions in honoring her relationships. It was inspiring to witness the result of this choice. She was more peaceful and able to maintain the positive emotional energy required to move into her new dream job.
Sadly, however, other goodbyes are not choice-driven. Saying goodbye to a loved one who is dying can be painful and hard. In these times, embracing the vulnerability we feel will help us lean into the relationship to offer loving truth and words of comfort.
Considering these clarifying questions can guide us:
- How do I want to honor the memories and experiences we share?
- How do I want to communicate in order to live without regret when they are gone?
- How do I love well in this season?
- What support do I need? Where do I feel vulnerable?
- Who can help me step fully into this journey?
As we honor our relationships in saying goodbye, focusing on what is needed to finish well will provide clarity in communicating. Holding on to strength and sensitivity is critical, for we desperately need both. Strength to acknowledge both the pain and the truth…and…Sensitivity to say it well. Be kind to yourself, for goodbyes are never easy on the heart.
My heart is with you as you honor your relationships in saying goodbyes,