Teaspoon of Happy Honoring the Things That Matter Sarah May Bates

Honoring milestones with ceremony usually comes in the form of a wedding, baby shower, school graduation or on a national holiday. Maybe it’s to do with how fast we go, how much we work or how much entertainment we consume, but ritual is lost in a lot of areas of culture nowadays. Often they seem passé, almost olden or at least irrelevant to our lifestyle. But rituals are important because they can tell us stuff about how we feel. They help us to mark our dedication, our truth. In their enaction they can formalize closure, beginnings, and confirm something internal as real. Honoring something that is important to you can take any form and they can feel silly but they are not, because they are weighted by true emotion. They can also be simple, because they are symbolic. They just mean that you mean something “this” much.

When you feel something has meant a great deal to you and you would like to honor that thing, whatever it is – a passing time in your life, a passing relationship, a passing loved one or even the self you are leaving behind – consider having a simple ceremony that marks that ending and beginning to you. It’s a way to gain closure and acknowledge to yourself that you are now moving on. It’s also a way to acknowledge to yourself and the stars above that something meant a great deal in your life. Sometimes in order for us to know how important something or someone really was, we have to see it and hear it for ourselves.

If there’s someone that has been important to you and now that person is gone, take pause to commemorate that person and that relationship to yourself. Be thankful, be sad and savor how real that thing is. Perhaps light a candle, write it on a piece of paper that you burn, maybe even visit a special spot and tell it to the sky. Whatever that ritual is, mark this emotion, this time, this moment between an ending and a new beginning. If you need to say goodbye or tell this person something, say it now. And know that it matters. That you meant it.

If you’ve had a painful experience that you’re ready to let go of, you can take that experience and wrap it in a metaphorical box. Tie a ribbon around it and mentally seal it. Say a few parting words, and let it go. If it arises in your mind again, remind yourself that that time is over. No more will you dwell on that thing. Closure means closure, and when we’re ready to have it, we can truly move on.

It can feel silly and awkward and dorky and arbitrary, but truly it is not. Feel good about that which has had relevance in your life. If something has been important to you, be proud of it, honor it, and know that your feelings are big and real.

Happy Sunday friends. xox Sarah

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  1. I want to take a moment and thank you for all the articles you write on this website. They are truly insightful and precious pieces to read.

  2. All of your experiances will motivate you in some direction or other. You will need all of your past to avoyd repeating it in future. I enjoy chess. I play chess because I like it. I am emotionally motivated. I belive the same goes for all other decitions that you will make in life.

  3. I said goodbye to two of my best friends today (off to their respective universities), and I’ve known these guys since before I hit double digits. It feels like such a big milestone, but really like an average day too, and I’m having trouble verbalizing how sad and odd this feels. So reading this article came at a perfect time for me, and as more of my since-primary-school friends are leaving for different countries and I’m getting ready to leave as well, I feel like I need to honor that. Thanks.

    • That’s so familiar to me too. Odd feelings are harder to understand – but so glad this came at the right time. Thanks for your comment xxo

  4. Always so relevant. Thank you so much, Sarah.

  5. This is so true! Marking some points in our life is important and yet, we don’t really seem to ‘bother’ to; at least I don’t. There’s always a problem to concentrate to, there’s little time – there are always so many reasons. Sometimes I think I’m hurrying through my life and I hate that idea.
    “It takes time, to live. Life, as any other form of art, requires that we think about it” Albert Camus – La mort heureuse (the translation is mine, maybe not exactly accurate but you get the point)

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