Rituals and Rites – Good Riddance Day

Good Riddance DayThere is a tradition in NYC called “Good Riddance Day”. In the days leading up to the Ball Drop on New Year’s Eve a huge shredder is placed in Times Square for an end-of year ritual. It is placed there so the citizens can come and get rid of any negative symbols from the past year.

The individuals are allowed to throw in personal items and those without specific items are given a piece of paper so they can write down their worst memory from the past year and then add it to the shredder. The shredded paper becomes part of the confetti used in the New Year’s Eve celebration.

It doesn’t have to be a holiday like the New Year to shed things from your past. You can do it any day you choose and you should have your own, “Good Riddance Day” as frequently as possible. Riddance is about getting rid of something and provides you with a welcome relief from a person or a thing. Using rituals, rites and symbolic gestures are often very helpful when creating change in your own life and moving forward. It is a psychological technique that is very effective.

You can write down feelings, emotions, people, habits, and things that you want to eliminate from your life. Perhaps, it is something that you did not initiate like a break-up or divorce. You can also write down something you have accomplished, like losing weight, achieving sobriety or any event marking a stage in your life that is over.

These rites, rituals and symbolic gestures allow you to express yourself using a ceremonious and formal acknowledgement of something highly significant that happened. There is a congratulatory component and element to these rituals. They create a feeling of satisfaction and sometimes euphoria. They give you feelings of power and control. You might want to visualize yourself eliminating and shredding another trait or issue that you no longer want or have in your life before the next year.

Patricia Frankis a Licensed Psychotherapist. She can be reached at 305-788-4864, Psychotherapy.a2z@gmail.com

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