I talk with clients all the time about knowing when it’s time to release a relationship that no longer nourishes your soul. It can be any type of relationship, from friend, to mechanic, to doctor, to spouse. Part of the release is to honor the relationship for what it brought to us, being in full gratitude for what we learn, and creating the spaciousness for new relationships to come into our lives.
Saying goodbye to a long-term relationship is hard. It can be scary. But holding tight to anything that no longer serves us is to deny ourselves. Why don’t we just let go? Sometimes we stay in a “comfortable” space simply because it’s easier to be unhappy in what we know. Or fear of the unknown holds us back. Fear can paralyze us.
My Relationship Story
Recently I had one of those days. I released a 9 year relationship with my hair stylist. It hadn’t been serving me for many months. More like 2 years if I’m truthful. A week before my scheduled appointment, I was chatting with a friend about my frustrations. After listening for a bit, he said “Bryce, you just want to be valued the way you value your clients.” In that moment, something turned in my stomach. He voiced all my anger and frustration in one simple sentence. The words described how I felt but couldn’t articulate. I was too stuck in all the emotions. I was afraid to own how I was being affected. I deserved to be treated with the same respect, compassion and caring that I offer my own clients. Simply put, I was WORTH IT. And from that place, I made the decision that I wouldn’t tolerate it anymore. It was a first step to freeing myself.
The following week, I received a call less than two hours before my appointment. “We just realized why……” Long story short, my appointment wasn’t going to happen. I either had to let someone else cut and color my hair, or reschedule. The fears kicked in. My book was full. I didn’t have time for this. So I did what was comfortable. I ignored the inner voice screaming like a banshee inside my head. I agreed to let someone else do the work. In 20 minutes. I jumped in the car and zipped to the salon.
I showed up at the appointed time full of fear, but resigned to my fate. Ten minutes later, I was still waiting. Inwardly, I was a mess. I was starting to have trouble breathing. My body was saying “ENOUGH!” I went into the parking lot before I went into a full meltdown. I texted a client with a style I loved. And I called a new salon. Where I went into tears and a meltdown on the phone. And where they could see me that day.
The Real Cost
I got off the phone, took a deep breath and let the tears flow. My Inner Voice whispered, “They worked you in today. The nice person on the phone listened to you, tears and all. She heard you. And she understood. And that’s what it feels like to be valued. This is how your clients feel. And you deserve this feeling too.” The weight of the hair world was lifted off my shoulders. I felt a huge shift in energy. No more anger. No more resentment that my time wasn’t valuable too.
I began to look objectively at how the relationship had affected me. Even my business had suffered. On “hair days,” I reworked my client schedule to ensure I wasn’t late. Sometimes, even adding in an extra hour wasn’t enough. I was losing money because I had to allow time for my stylist to be late. I finally shifted my paperwork day to coincide with “hair day.” Clients couldn’t be impacted. But my business was because less work got completed. It was another BIG realization. Each month, my body was also affected by the stress.
Could all this have happened less painfully? Of course. But that’s always not how life plays out. We stay with what we know because it’s easy, we’re comfortable, or we’re afraid to listen to our body or our heart. Sometimes we have to look in the mirror and accept our part in those things we don’t like. We have a choice. When we decide to stay in a relationship with a job we hate, we make a choice. Maybe we chose to put having stuff ahead of having a simple life. Or we chose the fancy car. Or the big house. Or lots of gadgets. And stuff costs money so we have to work in a job that pays a certain salary. Which we hate.
Pull out the Pruning Shears
Letting go takes Courage. We have to let go to create space for new relationships to come in. We need new relationships as we go through life. They bring new perspective. They nourish us in new ways. A gardner prunes dead leaves from plants and trees to help them grow stronger. Just like a gardner, you should prune relationships when they’re draining. When it’s time to say goodbye, honor the relationship you’re ending. Cherish the parts that brought you joy. Learn from the parts that didn’t serve you.
So what happened with my hair? During my consultation and cut with a new stylist, I laughed. I happily paid more. I now feel valued, heard and seen. And the results speak for themselves. I’m rocking a trendy, edgier cut. I look and feel years younger. I’m not having to re-work my schedule or get frustrated. I freed myself from an energetically draining relationship.
If this sounds familiar to you, look deep inside, pull out your pruning shears, and set yourself free.
Bryce Goebel is the Founder of Bryce Transforms and A Reiki Place Wellness. As a powerful intuitive, she helps clients create Fierce, Fearless lives without shame, guilt or apology. As a speaker and author, she shares stories of living according to the expectations of others, the cost of not living authentically, how to claim our worth in the world, speaking and standing in our truth, and accepting that we are enough. She worked over 20 years as a Software Engineer and Project Manager before dropping out of the corporate world. She is a Licensed Reiki Master Teacher with the International Center for Reiki Training and Certified Warrior Goddess Facilitator.