Today I have a long list of work deadlines.

I am feeling doubt and stress about being able to tackle it all in one day. I am unable to really focus, in my usual way, on this blog post. I thought about getting out of it, but the writing plan I am committed to is every weekday, no excuses. So here I am.

The inspiration for this post is the poem “Comes The Dawn.” It was my favorite 20 (!!) years ago in college, and more powerful than ever, for me, even today. I have included the full text of the poem at the end of this post. I am working being more powerful, more proactive, more self-focused (yes, self-focused) when it comes to my own goodbyes.

What are you holding on to?

Hanging on to too, too tightly?

What holds on to you?

We don’t move on until we let go. Until we untangle its too-tight grip from our arm, our side, our heart.

Hanging on to the old, the stale, the no-good and the wrong bogs us down, strangles us, suffocates and mires down.

Goodbye is about saying yes to the unknown. We don’t heal until we open to the unknown.We don’t forgive until we say goodbye to blame.

Goodbye is not scary; the unknown is scary. And, oftentimes, we avoid the unknown.

Goodbyes can be about people, relationships. jobs, ideas, papers, photos, furniture, clothing and hopes. Goodbye is about anything you cling and think, “This time it will be different.” Goodbye is about being worried that what you know is better than what you don’t know. Goodbye is about “maybe” and “what if” and “but.” It is about foregoing the need to control, overcoming the fear of disappointing “them,” shifting your focus back to what matters….yourself.

Healing starts with goodbye. Love starts with goodbye. Nobody, nothing can keep us down or hold us back. Only we can do that to ourselves. Same goes for goodbye. Only we can manage our own goodbyes.

So switch around your expectations, adjust your outlook and put yourself first.

For once. Choose you.

Nobody else will do it for you. Nobody else will say your goodbyes. Nobody else will remind you that there is no “hello” without a “goodbye.”

Start practicing. A Goodbye Practice. It is the most loving, compassionate thing you can do for yourself right now.

Say goodbye. To something. Starting today.


Comes the Dawn
Veronica A. Shoffstall

After a while you learn the subtle difference

Between holding a hand and chaining a soul

And you learn that love doesn’t mean security,

And you begin to learn that kisses aren’t contracts

And presents aren’t promises.

And you begin to accept your defeats

With your head up and your eyes open,

With the grace of an adult, not the grief of a child.

And you learn to build all your roads on today,

Because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain.

And futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight.

After a while you learn that even sunshine

Burns if you get too much.

So you plant your own garden and decorate

Your own soul, instead of waiting

For someone to bring you flowers

And you learn that you really can endure.
That you really are strong,

And you really do have worth

And you learn and learn and learn.

With every goodbye you learn.