I want to reflect today on the idea of leaving well. So often in modern living I hear stories of people disappearing from the lives of others, ‘ghosting’ them by simply stopping communicating with no explanation. I repeatedly sit with the pain this causes, the lack of closure, the self-doubt and worry, the rumination and fear.
Toko-pa Turner in her book Belonging offers that there is a way for us to move forwards to resolution, even in the absence of the other. It’s plain we can’t force another to come together with us, to explore differing points of view and agree together a way forwards, even be that us ending. What we can do is give ourselves a sense of closure internally, a symbolic way of bringing the connection to an end, honouring what it has brought us, and letting it go.
Turner offers that our first step is to grieve. The other is missing from your lives and that may be a painful loss, you can not move on without feeling it. Then, once ready, you might find an object that symbolises the closure you seek, and bless it. I love her words of blessing, and yet know we each must find our own:
“I bless your absence, your silence, your disappearance from me with this grief. May the echo of your going reach back to you one day, so you know your own substantiality. May I know my grief as a measure of my willingness to devotion, and may I trust that I’ve been spared from halfway love. May this and all disappearances inspire me to become more scrappy and tenacious with love. May I know with greater clarity others who are the same. And when I meet them, may I redouble my commitment to the craft of belonging.” Toko-pa Turner
Once you have blessed your object in your own way, dispose of it, and let that be an end. You may throw it in a river, bury it, burn it, whatever feels right to you. As you do so let go your connection to the relationship and end your carrying it with you.
This moving ritual reminds me of the Huna (the people native to Hawaii) practice of Ho’o Pono Pono. Ho’o Pono Pono is a beautiful way of clearing our energetic connection with another, such that we may let them go, or where appropriate, connect anew. I learned this practice many years ago when learning NLP, and it remains one I use often to refresh my connections with those I love, and to let go with love and kindness those who are no longer a part of my life.
The last few years have been a time of so many transitions for so many of us, many relationships have endured, and some have not. Which do you need to grieve and set free, and how will you go about it?