There are five aspects of change that lend themselves to successful and comfortable change. If we choose to embrace these five aspects, the transition brought forth by an ending can be smoother, include less suffering, and move us forward in more comfort, even joy.
Whether we find ourselves aligned with those who welcome the change an ending can bring or with those who find it difficult to let go, there is a way of saying goodbye that can be positive. It can even be transformative.
The first aspect is realization.
We need to know an ending is a change. Realization includes the recognition that a change has occurred. It requires our looking at what has ended and at the necessity of letting go of what has passed.
The perception of an ending as a change is more comfortable than anticipating and expecting to experience it as a loss. Realization is the awareness that something is complete, even if it is unfinished in the way we would have liked or was not our choice.
"There is a way of saying goodbye that can be positive. It can even be transformative."
The second aspect of a successful ending is acceptance.
Acceptance is a choice. We can know that change is born of endings and that growth is born of change. When we really know this, we are at a place in consciousness where we can accept, as opposed to denying or resisting. We may see the potential good in the change an ending can bring.
The third aspect of a successful ending is nonresistance.
Nonresistance allows us to say “Thy will be done” in God’s perfect wisdom, God’s perfect timing, God’s perfect order. Nonresistance allows us to say, “Into Thy hands I commit the outcome of the ending before me, for I know that God is only good and that God is active in my life.” Nonresistance is a beautiful expression of our trust, our faith, and our spiritual strength.
Just like realization and acceptance, nonresistance is a choice. It is a particularly wise choice when the ending we face is inevitable. Not choosing nonresistance is an automatic choice for struggle, disappointment, or pain.
It is possible to acquire nonresistance even if it is not a familiar response. We have to be willing to practice it.
We don’t have to be experts to begin. Through the practice of nonresistance, we can move more smoothly through change. We don’t have to be rushed into what will be or be forced or yanked or catapulted into what lies ahead.
The fourth part of a positive ending is forgiveness.
Real forgiveness has very little to do with the person, relationship, or situation being forgiven. It has everything to do with the peace we ultimately find in whatever ending is before us. Forgiveness sets us free from the bondage of circumstance. It allows us to release what has occurred, rather than hold it, and its pain, to us. Forgiveness allows us to try again, to believe again, and to love again.
The process of forgiveness is often ongoing rather than a single isolated event. We may discover that it needs to continue well beyond an ending and after goodbyes. As long as we have begun and as long as we are willing to pursue it, forgiveness can provide a peace that endures.
Gratitude is the fifth aspect of a successful ending.
Gratitude is also a choice. We can feel gratitude even when what has ended was not something that we chose to lose or leave. We can experience gratitude, even at those times we don’t want to say goodbye. True gratitude does not have conditions nor does it ask for promises and guarantees. It is a natural expression of one of our innate spiritual gifts. Gratitude is the offspring of love.
We do not have to feel gratitude in order to choose it. Sometimes we must wait to feel it until after we have consciously chosen it.
Gratitude lifts us, empowers us, frees us, and (I believe) has the potential to heal us.
Enjoy this podcast with Valleri Crabtree—“For Everything There Is a Season …”