The importance of saying goodbye
Clients often come to see a counsellor because they are having difficulties in a relationship. This may be a relationship with another person - a partner, family member, friend or colleague, or it may equally be about your relationship with yourself.
We generally have a tendency to hold on to things, relationships included, even when they no longer work for us. Staying with what you know, however bad, can somehow seem safer and more comfortable than facing the unknown and saying goodbye.
As a result, life can become somewhat crowded with outdated thoughts about ourselves, stuck feelings that we are not sure about the meaning of, and unhelpful behaviours that we wish we did not have. At the same time this holding on might lead to friendships we sort of keep going with, family relationships that have issues bubbling under the surface that have not been aired, and intimate relationships that are far more difficult than they need to be.
Daring to look, to really examine what is happening and what will help is an important part of moving towards the kind of relating you want and deserve. A therapeutic relationship with a counsellor can help you to do this. In therapy, we aim to create an atmosphere where you are able to talk about anything that is troubling you, however personal or uncomfortable.
Sometimes the work in counselling is to help you say goodbye to thoughts and feelings you have been holding on to, making space for new ways of looking at things and different ways of relating. Sometimes it is about saying goodbye to old ideas about yourself, solving conflicts inside and letting yourself be free of the past. Sometimes the work is about supporting you through decisions to actually say goodbye to relationships that you have given your all to and can hand on heart say it is time to leave.
Endings are often difficult, sometimes even painful, but they are also new beginnings and they can offer hope and excitement about a potentially different future. If you are feeling stuck with thoughts, feelings or relationships that you would like to move on, perhaps working with a counsellor to understand what you would like to have happen and bringing it into being would be a useful next step.