After months of being semi-ghosted or at least given the chilliest cold shoulder I’d ever endured, I sought understanding. What had I done? What did I need to apologize for, because I was willing. In place of an explanation, I heard, “Our season has ended.”
| Seasons End. |
I have had many relationships, both romantic and platonic, end in my almost 32 years. Some ended in a blazing fire where I had to run for my life. I’ve had some end with a dagger in my heart and ambulance sirens blaring in the distance. A few concluded with me tearfully shutting the door against my own will as means to finally protect and heal my heart. And then there’s this. “Our season has ended.” To be honest, I had no clue how to process those words. What I was expecting to hear, after politely confronting this individual who had ghosted me, were reasons why I was being treated this way straight from the horses mouth instead of the ambiguous hearsay of mutual friends. I wanted to know why someone I was close to couldn’t even find words for me. Truth is, there were words… “Our season has ended.”
For the next four months, I found myself not only grieving a relationship that had ended, but in a daily war with myself. For much of my adult life, I have been a people pleaser, and it seems to be second nature now. Because of that, I will typically sweep what I deserve and need under the rug for the sake of making or keeping peace. What I deserved and needed from this individual was an apology – for being ghosted, for being talked about behind my back, for the toxic, unwarranted silent treatment I was receiving, and for being shut out without at least knowing why. I’d find myself wrestling with the idea of reaching out one more time – just in case the two olive branches I had already extended weren’t enough – and standing my ground that if that individual wanted to make things right, I’d need a branch extended to me this time. I remember days tearfully sitting in front of my therapist explaining that though I was not perfect, I was at least a good to that individual. Whatever I’d done wrong, I wanted to fix it. We’d had good times, and I missed them. With a broken heart, I’d admit that I was hurting and I couldn’t figure out why.
As long as I tried to force things after the season had ended, I remained in a perpetual cycle of disappointment and pain.
A few moons ago, I shared the blog Seasons Change: For Me vs. With Me, and I’d like to reiterate the example I used in that blog. There are some things that may be an asset to you in one season that can hurt you in the next. In the winter time, on a 30 degree day, it is reasonable for you to wear hat, gloves, and a heavy coat. All of those things protect you from the elements around you and help to keep you from getting sick. They are exactly what you need for that time. Fast forward two seasons to the dead of summer’s 87 degree days with a heat index of 103. That heavy coat as well as your hat and gloves will earn you a one way ambulance ride to the emergency room. The same items that shielded you from sickness in the winter time can be the cause of your sickness in the summer time. At some point you’ll have to adjust to the season change.
As it relates to my former relationship, I found myself hurting daily until I began to accept that the season had indeed ended. I was reserving expectations for this individual only to be disappointed because the season had ended. I created moments to converse with this individual only to be treated like a stranger because the season had ended. I kept holding out for an apology that I’d probably never receive because the season had ended. That expectation, the extra attempts, and my need for an apology were hurting me because they were things that would have normally occurred within the confines of the prior season… the season that ended.
THE MORAL OF THE STORY
I’m sure you’re wondering how I could possibly pull a moral from all of that. Thanks to therapy, prayer, seeing things for what they truly are, and washing my hands of the situation, I have a moral. Here are some things I have done to cope with a season that abruptly ended that may help you too:
- If you can, make a list of and appreciate all the things that you loved about the season. For you to be upset that it is ending means there was some good within it. Maybe the season forced you to grow. Maybe the season provided a way of escape from the one before that. Whatever was good about that season, cherish it.
- Grieve. Allow yourself to feel whatever you feel without interruption. In my case, I didn’t know what I may have done to contribute to the ending of the season, so I felt like I didn’t have a right to grieve. Even if you feel like me and you aren’t sure whether or not it was your fault, know that loss hurts no matter what kind of loss it is, and we are allowed to miss what we once had and probably loved.
- Prepare you heart for something new. It may not be the same, there may be loads of uncertainty, and you may even have to deconstruct the wall that you’ve built around your heart and expectations, but allow yourself to move on to what’s next.
What is guaranteed is you will never end one season without beginning another. The ending of one season ushers you directly into the next, and then the conditions adjust to the changing of the season. If you are caught in the middle of the transition feeling the loss of the last season, know that very soon you will reap the joy of the new season that is already upon your life.
Today, many tears and much acceptance later, I am grateful for the end because it was the announcement of a new beginning. I’ll cry about that ending again later… or maybe not.
I hope this helps. I love you with my whole heart, and I mean it.