Is Saying Goodbye Hard?

Yesterday was the very last session of the first Year of Inquiry group that’s been meeting since June last year.

Wow, what a spectacular experience.

During our last month together, the topic has been Death, Endings, Parting Ways, Goodbyes.

Today we looked at the belief “goodbyes are hard”. 

 Such a simple thought, and so full of sadness, drama, memories, anticipation.

Questioning the thought doesn’t mean you arrive and land on a new belief that goodbyes are easy….maybe they are hard and that’s actually completely OK with you, with life, with reality.

But it’s very powerful to look at why you think they are hard, and who is this “you” who believes so resolutely that goodbyes (especially in death) are dreadful.

One wonderful inquirer had a situation where he was alone in the house, concerned that his wife may not return. Another inquirer considered the loss of her ego, her own identity. Someone else had already experienced a shocking sudden death of her partner in the past.

What if there MIGHT be a goodbye? What if something terrible happens?

Let’s look.

Goodbyes are hard…..is that true?

Yes. I’d do anything to talk with my dad again. Accidents, illness, death, break-ups, loss, time passing, friendships ending, people moving away.

Sad! Horrible! Painful! Confusing! WHY?!

But can you absolutely KNOW that it’s true that Goodbyes are hard?

No. Not in every part of me. My mind may think so, but I also notice that I don’t think about my father 24/7. At all. Thoughts appear, then they dissolve.

I don’t really know if they are “hard” at all. Grief pours out, then it passes.

How do you react when you believe that Goodbyes are hard?

People have many reactions: avoid connecting too deeply, stay connected even though its time to move on, fail to notice that all is very well even when someone leaves, pine, cry, feel hopeless.

Now….who would you be without that belief that Goodbyes are hard?

What if Goodbyes are easy? What if Goodbyes are soft?

Bizarre, right?

But I notice that it’s profound to not believe, right here in this moment, that endings are terrible. Shakespeare said “parting is such sweet sorrow.”

In my life, it is beautiful to let go of all the control, allow reality to include both goodbyes and hellos. (All the inquirers had a chuckle thinking about the turnaround “Hello’s are hard”….good to see why and explore THAT one a bit!)

Because I notice I have zero control over all this coming and going anyway. Trusting it might be a good idea.

“If I were to tell the story of reality, it would have to be a love story. The story would be told as life lives itself out, always kinder and kinder, with twists and turns that cannot be projected into the distance. For example, if my daughter dies, I realize that there is no self to be affected. It’s not about me. This is about her life, my child’s life, and I celebrate her freedom, because I know the freedom of unidentified mind–the unceasing body-less mind that is finally awake to itself, the mind that never existed as a her, and the her that can never die.” ~ Byron Katie 

In the end on our touching, deep and astounding call yesterday, I felt such gratitude for the hellos and goodbyes I’ve encountered with every single YOI member, and every human I’ve ever met.

And how astonishing to consider and sit in awe of these turnarounds: I am willing to say goodbye, I am willing to have the thought that goodbyes are hard, to feel separated, to part ways, to die, to have others die who I love.

I look forward to all the ways in my life to come when I will say goodbye, I look forward to when I will have the thought that it’s hard, when I may feel separated, when I part ways, to die, to have others die who I love.

The weight that is lifted in being open to all change, five minutes from now, five years from now, fifteen years from now, fifty years from now….is a weight worth putting down.

If you’d like to join the next Year of Inquiry and really begin a regular practice with a guaranteed fabulous group, we’ll begin again in September 2014. Registration is not open yet for YOI, but you can write to me if you’re interested as it is by application only by hitting reply.

“Seeing into darkness is clarity. Knowing how to yield is strength. Use your own light and return to the source of light. This is called practicing eternity.” ~ Tao Te Ching #52

Much love, Grace

2 Responses to Is Saying Goodbye Hard?

  1. Oh that’s a great one (regret). I have definitely experienced that one…my chance is lost, I should have…thanks for your work here!

  2. Goodbyes–how about the regret that I never even connected in the first place? I never gave my mother a chance. True? No, actually, I did. With the thought–regret so deep. Without the thought–seeing she had her own life, which included me, but I was not her WHOLE life. I see her with some distance. Maybe her life played out exactly right for her, including how I treated her. TA: I always connected with her. I don’t know. That suggests there was something really there to connect with. Not sure about that! And, yes, I thought about her a zillion million times. TA: I never connected with myself. Duh! Looking always to others, including her, for knowing how to live. (And isn’t that just what we do? For a while or forever?) TA: My thinking mind never connected with her. Yes, it was just those angry fearful thoughts that kept me from closeness from her. (What ever was I expecting from her, anyway?) Thanks!

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