Cleansing the Palate

Cleansing the palate usually refers to eating or drinking something neutral before trying another taste.  It is a term frequently used in wine tasting to give each new flavor a chance to stand on its own.  The practice is also used in perfume testing to give the nose a chance to be ready to try a new scent.  Smelling a dish of coffee beans is sometimes the way chosen to accomplish this.

A fresh start of any kind comes best with a short hiatus to separate one thing from another.  This is also true in relationships.  Jumping to a new relationship before the past one is finished or resolved can result in a series of broken relationships due to heavy “baggage” or issues being carried forward instead of being resolved.

Ending a relationship can be painful, whether it is a choice or a reality that one has to face.  Sitting in the confusion and loss may seem unnecessary if one expects the next one to help forget the last, but neglecting a debriefing does not make the grief disappear.  Eventually, multiple griefs begin to piggyback, one on another, and the threat of aloneness becomes overwhelming.

What happens after an ending can make the difference between going forward and remaining stuck in sadness and negativity.  A valid and useful part of therapy is assistance in going through the process of acknowledgment of loss, an honest look at what has happened in a relationship, forgiveness, and, in the end, gratitude for gifts that may yet be recognized as part of it.