7 Wisdoms - Goodbye
Keywords for Goodbye
There is wisdom in knowing how to balance what has been against what can be. Each of the seasons has its own beauty, and each of the chapters of our life has value, yet the inertia of habit can make it quite difficult to respond enthusiastically to signs that the times have shifted and that the point has come to change direction. Comfortable and secure, we tend not to step out of the life-track of what is normal for us. So we may struggle to realize this: that we are either growing or dying. Let us be aware that a joyless, repetitive, humdrum, mindless life is not life at all; it is dying in disguise
The Goodbye instant is a link between two stories—the past and the future—which seem rather similar and yet have at least one major axiom different. The past holds us back and the future pulls us forward towards new lessons; we are crucified by any sustained indecision. We have to act. Action demands of us a greater degree of involvement than passivity and we are stimulated to a greater degree to touch depths of feeling that are not always engaged. It requires the resolution of dilemma; dynamically, it gives proof of decision. The very requirement of a decision is that we engage in order to awaken more fully, and penetrate into the deeper recesses of the self. Action can often express some quality or inner decision that might otherwise go unnoticed and would be left in the ethereal world of the unrecognised.
Although Goodbye itself is momentary, the process that surrounds it takes time. It is necessary to close down what has been opened and attend to all outstanding questions so that resolution takes place properly. Typically we don’t want to take responsibility to finish everything off tidily because it is more enjoyable for us to direct attention towards what will be and not what was. Our motivation to ‘do the right thing’ comes out of a sense of self-image that ‘I am the kind of person that finishes what s/he starts’: a dignity of identity. Also it preserves and strengthens will, which otherwise could be undermined. The importance of completion is to do with tying up loose ends so that we can journey into the future knowing that there are no issues that will pull us back and diminish our possibilities for success in what is now about to begin.
Moving on is likely to be an adventure—it is better like this because it helps us to make a clean break—although it can feel rather dangerous. It is good to set off from a prepared position of strength, having some degree of purpose, certainty of resolve and whatever resources we may need for the journey. Enthusiasm, born of the heart, is the joyous motivating vibrancy that carries us forward from a separation towards future involvements, and if we ride this wave as would a surfer then we have the right approach towards meeting an unknown future.
As an old door begins to close we are somehow squeezed to bring out more from a situation. An irreversible ending approaches, and there is an intensity of vitality to be felt, which has an energizing effect that pushes us to a deeper level of self-examination and self-expression. Perhaps in this is to be found the greatest gift of all: the wisdom, which validates and explains the purpose for the involvement and the need for it to finish.
The wisdom of GOODBYE
The cycle of ordinary life can be seen as a succession of stages from No to Hello to Thank You and to Goodbye. We don’t like our circumstances (No) so we look outwardly for improvement (Hello), for a time we feel value in a situation (Thank You) and eventually we move on (Goodbye).
Everything comes to an end, so we need to have a process of completion in order to mark the ending clearly and irrevocably. Firstly there is the realization that either we have fulfilled our purpose or have discovered that it is unfulfillable. We may not have been entirely clear what our purpose was; yet now there is more understanding. With the 20-20 vision of hindsight we realize it’s done, and to continue would not further our cause. Next comes the decision, which is a resolution to act upon the realization and go through the necessary processes of completion in order that all the loose ends are tied up neatly and cannot reach into our future life to tug and restrain us. This allows us to move on, effectively letting go of the past.
q21 - 3 questions
Are you good at avoiding being stuck in a rut?
Life is about movement so being stuck in any situation is not healthy. There is a strong tendency for all of us to continue to do what we have always done, and this carves the track of our lives. It becomes increasingly difficult to cut new paths when the old ones are deep and unquestioned so we may be caught up without knowing we are. We must realize that such unconscious habits of behavior need to be avoided lest we become trapped and begin to lose vitality.
Do you have courage to move into the unknown?
Typically many people fear the unknown. It takes decisive courage to overcome our disinclination to take risks, and this applies to all areas of life. New job, new town, and new relationship – these are all obvious. What about new opinions, new perceptions, and new beliefs? We know so very little! The universe of possibilities is vast and mainly unexplored, waiting there for our readiness to have an adventure.
Do you quickly let go of the past?
This question is profoundly correlated with happiness. To be happy usually means that we can let go of what we cannot influence. Mulling over our personal history can be useful if it brings a better awareness of the present, yet dwelling on past pain, lost opportunities, errors of judgment and so on – this will never bring us what we want. Life is now; it is the only thing that is real. So when we have properly completed our involvements, and tied up what needs to be resolved, then to move on requires us to let go.
7 Words Concepts
Our civilization, our very humanity depends upon accountability.
"Among all my patients in the second half of life ... there has not been one whose problem in the last resort was not that of finding a religious outlook on life."