August 10, 2020

When Saying Goodbye isn’t the Hardest Part.

Yan Miranda/Pexels

When the pain of being in a relationship weighs heavier on your heart than the pain you’ll inevitably feel when it’s over, making the decision to let go can still be difficult.

Or is that the easy part?

You’re free. It’s done. No more wondering. No more loneliness while sitting beside that person you love.

This is what you needed. This is what you knew you had to do—so why do you have moments when you feel so bad? Why do you have moments when all the negatives seem so small in comparison to the enormity of love that you still—and may always—have for this person?

When you say that you miss the one whom you weren’t truly happy with and when you say that your heart hurts, those closest to you may not fully understand. After all, you’ve made the decision to cut the cord from that partner and that should equate to feeling good.

And you do. Sort of. Most of the time. But then there are those moments.

There are the moments when you see or hear something that may remind you of a private joke the two of you shared.

There are the moments when you wake and had dreams that were so real, you feel as if that person was just with you.

There are the moments when the darkness clouds your state of mind and down comes the shade, blacking out every ray of brightness on any given day.

And there are the moments when your heart keeps breaking, because you know that the person didn’t love you in the way that you thought.

You focus on what you should, because you are fully aware of what reality had in store for you and you see things clearly. There are no rose-colored glasses. There is no romanticizing the past. And there is no hope in a future that was never yours to have. You get it. You did what had to be done. You made the right decision.

Charley Pride sums it up so well.

Time is the only friend,
That I have left here with me
How can those healing hands of time,
Erase your memory
The easy part’s over now,
We’ve come to the end
The easy part’s over now,
And the hard part begins

When you’ve let go of a relationship for reasons that were out of your control, and when you’ve let go of a relationship because love meant something very different to two very different people, that doesn’t mean that you’ve turned your feelings off like a light switch.

It doesn’t mean that the days thereafter are a parade of good things that were just waiting for you to extricate yourself from the relationship that chained your soul.

It’s a death of sorts that may mandate a process of grieving and healing, especially when you love that person, and leaving was the last thing you ever thought you’d have to do.

So, maybe you’ll be met with this retort when you openly express how much you miss that person in any given moment—why?!—as if missing that person is the most ridiculous, incredulous, and silliest thing someone has ever heard.

Saying goodbye is easier than we think.

Some people are experts in that area and never let themselves get close to anyone or anything. Been there, done that, have the T-shirt. And some people love without boundaries, losing their selves to the other person. Been there, done that, and have that T-shirt too.

But living with a goodbye—any goodbye—is the hardest part of all.

You can get through those moments when the hurt seeps in and the pain is so bad that you feel as if you can’t breathe. All things do pass and time will heal your wounds, but that doesn’t mean that the scar won’t cause you some occasional stinging or numbness when the nerve endings start to regenerate.

Be patient, kind, and loving.

We often give the love, care, and support to others that we sometimes don’t afford ourselves. Let yourself cry. Let yourself be sad, mad, or conflicted. Let these feelings visit, but don’t let them make a home. There is no set timetable for healing. We all heal in our own way, in our own time.

Get busy.

When you are active, contributing to the world around you, and engaging in things which bring you pleasure, it’s hard to be sad. This is not to be confused with being the workaholic or overscheduling yourself, filling your calendar with anything and everything to escape reality. This is a genuine intention of being productive and practicing some self-love and self-care.

Find gratitude.

It’s hard to be grateful when you feel like your life is falling apart and your heart is aching, but it’s not impossible. If anything, that is the time when you need to be the most grateful—for who you are, have, or will become. For those who do surround you with love and friendship. For lessons learned. For being alive.

And for saying goodbye so that you now have this great opportunity to look inside yourself, to examine your needs and wants, and then transform into a stronger, wiser, and happier version of you—in time.


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