Don’t cry because it’s over.
Smile because it happened!
- Dr Seuss
So often we want to hold on to ... ( fill in the blank). Whether it's a relationship, a good time, a class, a trip, a great concert, a fun party, shared time with a loved one, an intimate connection- physical, spiritual or emotional, we often don't want to let go. We want to hold on, we want it to go on just a little bit longer, to make it last forever.
Or maybe someone has hurt us, maybe really badly- a betrayal, an incomprehensible meanness or lack of consideration that changes or ends a relationship we valued.
Although of course there is sadness about endings, Dr. Seuss's point I think, is to also remember how wonderful ( fill in the blank) was, how it made us feel, how fulfilled we were, how much joy or connection or love we felt. No one or nothing can take that feeling, that experience away from us. Can we remember in addition to being sad or missing ( fill in the blank) to smile at the memory at the joy or fulfillment or happiness or connection, or bliss that we felt? Can we smile at having had that experience, that connection, trusting that other such experiences will also come our way again?
Peggy Handler, MFT, is a psychotherapist in San Francisco's Noe Valley