Aloha Dear Ones,
I’ve just discovered many wonderful comments in the WordPress spam folder! Will begin responding to them tomorrow–I’m grateful to each soul who resonated with the deeper message in my blog, and who reached out from around the world to connect with me, and with each other.
A friend has been talking with me about his recent breakup with a girlfriend whom he adored. One of the areas of relationship I promised to write about is when to let go, and how to consciously uncouple. There are some people in the world who fall in love with their first date and stay with that person until one of them transitions to the next life (yes, there really are:). For most of us, there has been a parting of the ways with someone for whom we cared.
Whether or not we initiated the parting, breaking up is indeed hard to do. There is a debate about which scenario results in a greater emotional burden, having your own heart broken, or breaking the heart of another. If we are the one being left, and it comes to us as a surprise that our lover no longer wants us, it’s difficult to understand the price they may be paying for their decision. If our lover goes directly into the arms of someone else, believing that their heart is impacted by what happened between us is even harder.
Yet, everything each of us does, counts. Everything each us of does impacts all of us. We can’t fully understand the process of another along the twists and turns of their path. We can, and must, for our own heart, for the heart of the world, take responsibility for our own choices.
Everything happens between people, even when one person is obviously behaving badly. Let me be clear, I’m not excusing abuse of any kind. I’m asking all of us to become more awake in our relationships, to be more conscious of what is really happening. Whether only one person feels the need to move on, or both people are unhappy and agree to part, we all must develop a greater capacity to see the truth of our relationship.
Go on a short journey of discovery with me. Think of your last breakup. Some will need to reach back to a time long past, and some are in the middle of a painful breakup right now. Just give yourself permission to tell the truth, and ask the Holy Spirit, the Power of Love, for guidance to see clearly.
Imagine the beginning of your relationship. Were there significant differences on things important to you? Did you and your new boyfriend/girlfriend disagree on spirituality, altruism, politics, sexuality, children, importance of career, how to handle money, how to have fun, or the value of marriage? When you met their family, did you feel welcomed? Did you feel a resonance with their friends? When you observed your new love in the world, were you comfortable with the way they treated others? Can you say that you respected and admired them? Did you feel respected, admired, and valued by them?
I’m not asking if you found the other person to be perfect, or a perfect match, in any of these areas–that kind of perfection probably does not exist in form. I’m asking if, in any of these ways, or in a way important to you, there was an inner awareness of not being, “met,” of a lack of mutuality that registered as a kind of warning, either as a physical discomfort, or a mental, “red flag.”
Next, ask yourself, “What did I believe was going to happen with those red flags?” Did you imagine that love would overcome them? Did you believe your lover would change, well, enough, for love to overcome all obstacles? Did you imagine you could change yourself enough to make it work? Did it?
When we are very young, we tend to opt for an experience, for an adventure in love, versus choosing a truly compatible partner with whom to begin a relationship. The time comes, for most of us, when we want the real thing. If we are actually ready for the real thing, or, actually want to be ready (we’ve got to ask ourselves this question, we can’t take the answer for granted), then, we need to take more responsibility for choosing a lover/mate whose values align with ours.
We need to take more responsibility for paying deep attention to the quality of our connection, and for being honest with ourselves and our partner. We need to be courageous in bringing up both our hopes and concerns. We need to be willing to see where our expectations were ours alone, and not based on any evidence provided by our partner. We need to get clear about the chances of any of our core needs being met. Getting clear is not about finding fault with the other, even if their actions have been egregious, by any sane person’s standards. Getting clear is telling ourselves the truth about whether this person and us are enough of a fit to move forward together, and then taking responsibility for acting on that truth.
Sometimes, what does feel good has kept us in a situation where lots of other things don’t feel good. The day comes when the things that don’t feel good, feel bad enough to make the good part not worth it anymore. At this point, a couple with some commitment can choose to seek help from a counselor, or trusted clergy (if the spiritual dimension of your life is important to you, please consider looking for a transpersonal or integral psychologist/ psychotherapist). If there isn’t a real commitment, one person usually leaves.
If we are the one left, we can feel rejected, devalued, betrayed, even unlovable. Our human tendency is to see ourselves as the victim. It’s difficult to see the gift in our situation, as we sit alone, with a heart full of misery. Yet, it’s also difficult to argue with the truth–if our relationship is over, it needs to be over. If being together wasn’t working for our partner, it’s much better to know it sooner rather than later. If we are honest with ourselves, we admit the ways the relationship wasn’t working for us, either.
When we have extended our heart and shared ourselves, grieving over the loss of that closeness, that human contact, is only natural. How many times have we grieved over losing a relationship that, if we tell ourselves the truth, never really had a chance? Or that seemed so right, but went so wrong? We all long for love, to give love, to be loved. It’s all too easy to deny the reality of a relationship growing distant, to pretend not to see, not to feel the hurt.
If we want the real thing, we’ve got to wake up. We can’t sleepwalk through our relationship disconnects. We need to take responsibility for addressing these disconnects directly, when we experience them. We need to get conscious help. If our partner won’t participate, we need to let go. If they’ve already gone, we need to trust that as we become more aware of what really matters to us, and show up that way in the world, we will attract someone who shares our values, and who passionately wants to be with us.
There is much advice available on letting go of a relationship and moving forward. One of the best resources I’ve found is from a woman who wrote a bestseller about finding your soulmate. Katherine Woodward Thomas, author of, “Calling In The One,” is now offering a digital series called, “Conscious Uncoupling,” http://evolvingwisdom.com/consciousuncoupling/enroll. You can download a free seminar introducing the series at http://evolvingwisdom.com/consciousuncoupling/download. I know, some irony here–but hey, you don’t want to hear from someone who only focuses on on things not working out, do you? Katherine has learned much from her years of researching what brings couples together, and now is sharing about a more conscious approach to letting go. Check out her course and let me know what you think.
Love and blessings,
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