The Beauty in Goodbye

The Beauty in Goodbye by
Rebekah McClaskey

“The story of life is quicker than the wink of an eye, the story of love is hello and goodbye…until we meet again”
~ Jimi Hendrix

Goodbyes punctuate the end of one thing then allowing for the beginning of another. There are all sorts of ways to circumvent having to say good-bye. Instead we say, “See you later”, “Until we meet again” or “Until then.”

Having to say good-bye hurts.

It hurts when loved ones die or leave and in their absence life shifts. The people we love and who love us back are like essential nutrients. They are split-pea soup for the soul. The peace that comes when a friend makes you laugh is so special.

A hug can heal.

The Care Bears had it right: sharing is caring!

And how do you suppose we fall in love with each other? It is through sharing and sometimes it happens after saying, “Goodbye.”

I’ve often written about the love of my life and he knows it. We’ve been friends. We’ve been lovers.

We’ve broken up. We’ve parted ways. He has missed me. I have missed him. I’ve gotten on with my life and as far as I know so has he.

It hasn’t been easy.

In fact the most difficult part about saying good-bye to him was the reason I did it. I wanted to protect the intimacy we were sharing with commitment, fidelity and marriage. He did not want that so much so that upon our parting of ways he said, “That’s not who I am.”

I chose to believe him.

Time has passed and I am doing my best to provide continuity in my life—clean up my finances, attract good things and be healthy. In this pursuit I’ve once again tapped into what I like to call my X-Man power—clairvoyance.

I’m a practical-minded lady with a Masters in Psychology, so having the ability to talk to dead people, intuit medical conditions and understand the karmic signature of people’s lives is both extraordinary to me and it is just a part of who I am.

Further I love to share my gift with those who want to receive it and I got the chance to do just that at a gathering in Boulder, Colorado called Healer’s Jam. My good friend Sean has been hosting them for three years now. Different people open their homes and healers from all over Boulder gather and share their talents for free. It is a night of exchange, warmth and caring.

At the last Jam I attended I gave four different readings. One in particular stood out.

I tucked myself in a nook, sat atop a bed of fur and pillows and Rachel sat across from me as I began to “translate Spirit.”

She was wondering about a physical ailment she had and what came through to me was surprising. She had a man in her life who was much like the love of my life—he was flighty, non-committal and the best lover she had ever had.

Her tender heart was being hurt by his taking of her affections.

I spent a moment in the reading commiserating with her. “I understand.” Then this beautiful image came to me just as I was telling her it was time to say goodbye to this mythical man.

I saw a butterfly cocoon.

The translation then followed:

When we leave someone whom we love because they are not honoring our values, the leaving creates a cocoon around that person. Staying and trying to make them change causes them to be broken butterflies. Self-esteem not only heals you it heals those you love too.

Then I told her the story of the butterfly’s struggle and it goes like this:

Once a little boy was playing outdoors and found a fascinating caterpillar. He carefully picked it up and took it home to show his mother. He asked his mother if he could keep it, and she said he could if he would take good care of it.

The little boy got a large jar from his mother and put plants to eat, and a stick to climb on, in the jar. Every day he watched the caterpillar and brought it new plants to eat.

One day the caterpillar climbed up the stick and started acting strangely. The boy worriedly called his mother who came and understood that the caterpillar was creating a cocoon. The mother explained to the boy how the caterpillar was going to go through a metamorphosis and become a butterfly.

The little boy was thrilled to hear about the changes his caterpillar would go through. He watched every day, waiting for the butterfly to emerge. One day it happened, a small hole appeared in the cocoon and the butterfly started to struggle to come out.

At first the boy was excited, but soon he became concerned. The butterfly was struggling so hard to get out! It looked like it couldn’t break free! It looked desperate! It looked like it was making no progress!

The boy was so concerned he decided to help. He ran to get scissors, and then walked back (because he had learned not to run with scissors…). He snipped the cocoon to make the hole bigger and the butterfly quickly emerged!

As the butterfly came out the boy was surprised. It had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings. He continued to watch the butterfly expecting that, at any moment, the wings would dry out, enlarge and expand to support the swollen body. He knew that in time the body would shrink and the butterfly’s wings would expand.

But neither happened!

The butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings.

It never was able to fly…

As the boy tried to figure out what had gone wrong his mother took him to talk to a scientist from a local college. He learned that the butterfly was supposed to struggle.

In fact, the butterfly’s struggle to push its way through the tiny opening of the cocoon pushes the fluid out of its body and into its wings. Without the struggle, the butterfly would never, ever fly.

The boy’s good intentions hurt the butterfly.

As you go through school, and life, keep in mind that struggling is an important part of any growth experience. In fact, it is the struggle that causes you to develop your ability to fly.

This vision demonstrated to me a whole new way of looking at saying goodbye. Love never dies nor leaves.

It is just forgotten.

And when we try to forget about someone we have loved it can feel disconnecting.

The image of the cocoon reminded me that as we honor our truth it also wraps the person we love in a blanket of truth and of love.

In this cocoon like state that is created after saying goodbye the person we love can then mature at their own pace in their own struggles. And as the laws of nature would have it if nothing obstructs their struggle, they will fly.

Further, the level of trust it takes to allow for this is likened to understanding that the things that truly belong to us will stay in our lives and if they leave they are not ours to keep.

Freedom to be exactly who we are is the greatest gift we allow ourselves and in this allowing so too do we set others free.

This is the beauty in good bye.

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