The world is full of endings. Your life, actually, is sprinkled with them. You have parties and celebrations and farewells to mark the end of a year, a career, a life. All of these “endings” are a part of the fabric of life. In fact, having things end – sometimes to just start again – is not new. It’s actually quite common to say goodbye almost daily to something, or someone in our life – even if we don’t always pay attention or recognize them all.
But even though it is common, saying goodbye to things and even people in our life still feels heavy and emotional.
The ending feels final and it can be difficult to let go. And even perhaps that doing so adds insult to injury.
But ironically, it is when we hold on too tightly to things that we feel heaviness the most. The ending itself can be weighted but the more we hold onto the feeling of loss and ending, the more of an obstacle we create. And the more impossible saying goodbye seems.
The idea of letting go, of having things end can feel limiting and scary. And because it is so common, and also necessary to the cycle of life, it benefits us to turn around our thinking and decide to feel something different.
Instead of thinking of the ending and loss, focus on the gain.
When you lose a loved one, you gain beautiful memories. You reflect more and cherish the time you spent and the ways your life was enriched.
When you end a year, you gain helpful lessons. You have the opportunity to take those lessons of the past and focus on how they can be best used to brighten your future.
And when you need to say goodbye to an item in your house that has run its course, you gain space. The space you create opens you up to a plethora of opportunities to grow, create, and heal.
There is something to gain from every loss. Sometimes, you just have to look for it.
When it comes to the art of minimalism, goodbye is almost always part of the process. And it is, in fact, why it is looked at as something scary instead of something that will bring success to your life. Minimalism has a lot to do with letting go. But it is only the things you determine that don’t fit the fabric of your life, now.
You aren’t letting go of things that have meaning, that you actually use. You are letting go of all the things that don’t serve a purpose because that allows you to create a space for all the things that do.
When it comes to letting go of things in your space, these four tips can help you say goodbye more confidently, and gain some necessary perspective in the often daunting process.
1. Pay attention to what an item brought you in the past. There is a reason it came into your life, and a reason it must leave. Be grateful for the opportunity to experience and benefit from both.
2. Think about the opportunity someone else has to use and find gratitude in that item. Your ending is someone else’s beginning.
3. Remind yourself you have enough. Assess what you own. See all that you have instead of thinking you need more of anything. You don’t.
4. Remember you are enough. More things don’t make you who you are, or make you worthy. You can do that all on your own with the good thoughts you choose to think. Choose them wisely.
Everything must come to an end. And that can feel sad, understandably. But when you find the gain in the loss you will likely see that you say goodbye more easily.