I saw this post on Instagram a few months ago, and it struck me as something really cool – so I saved the picture (Photo credit House of Yoga – my yoga studio in Claremont). I have been battling with personal situation since January and by processing my emotions, I had a meaningful life experience – from absolute inner turmoil to freedom, liberation and peace. I woke up from a nap this afternoon and for some reason remembered the picture and suddenly it struck me that I can write a narrative of the experience and align it to these rules… so here goes.
Rule number 1: I have received a body that identifies me as woman. I’ve several typical traits of women all around the world – nothing particularly special about me. I get hungry, and tired and I get bored. I laugh, I cry. Sometimes I’m moody, but most of the time I’m bouncy and passionate about life. And just like every other woman I fall in love…
Rule number 2: I fell in love and got involved with particular man and from this experience came one of my lessons. A ‘good man’ by his own standards. I guess no one is perfect, but not a good enough man for me. It took ‘the experience‘ of our relationship (my lesson) for me to realise that. My intention with this post is not to bash him at all. I wish him well, but I’m sharing my story here because I feel that it is worth sharing. Maybe someone out there can relate, find comfort or amusement from it.
Rule number 3: I’m so tempted to think of my relationship with this man as a mistake. However in recent years I have started believing that everything and everyone in the universe is connected. We are all part of a great system and are co-dependent. A common misconception that I believe many of us fall prey to, is believing that we are alone in this thing called ‘life’. It’s a nasty trick that our ego plays on us. Ego itself is not bad thing as long as we keep it in check – the purpose of the ego is to ensure that we survive as a species. So everyone’s ego has them believing that they need to look out for themselves, that they need to protect themselves. In days of the caveman this was a crucial survival mechanism, when we needed to fend off wild animals, but this is no longer a requirement for our survival. When I turned 40 I started realising that a more peaceful, happier life comes from realising that I am part of the whole, despite what my ego says to me. It’s a move away from thinking that ‘things happen to me’, and rather that ‘things happen around me’. In all of our lives there are things that happen that are challenging (downright difficult) to deal with, that leave us suffering and reeling in pain and feeling like there should be no tomorrow. And yet, in retrospect, even what seemed like the worst situation at a particular time in my own life, was actually a seed from which I eventually harvested fruit – albeit years later. Everything is connected to the whole. Everything is connected to the source – and for that reason there have been no mistakes in my own life – including my relationship with this man. No mistakes.
Rule number 4: My relationship with this man was a repeated lesson. In 2011/12, I had a remarkably similar experience, when I was also in an intimate relationship with someone and he was seeing someone else too. Not sure if I was the side chic, or she was the side chic? Who knows. Two-timing is not the issue here – Not important for me to delve into that at all – #DifferentStrokesForDifferentFolks. The point of this blog post is to focus on my own response to the discovery. Back in 2012, when that chap ‘broke’ up with me, he didn’t actually break up with me in person. Previous boyfriend also just ghosted me. He just disappeared without any explanation. Gone. This sent me into a downward emotional spiral of feeling loss. The pain and uncertainty of not knowing what had happened left me spinning like a top. I agonised, berated myself and beat myself up and went into semi-isolation because of my shame, for about nine months trying to figure out what I did wrong (which by the way is the ego stepping in to unsuccessfully prevent something like that happening again). I could not understand because he was the one who pursued me, and it went from him being all over my space, to periodically being in my space, to nothing at all. I even thought it was because of my children and work – that I didn’t have enough time for him – that I wasn’t good enough for him. It is uncanny when I think about it now, how this most recent experience that I had is almost identical to eight years ago.
Rule number 5: Today I am better equipt to deal with this situation. It still hurt like a mother-fucker, but all the subsequent lessons that I had since that first breakup, prepared me to manage my most recent breakup. Lessons like ‘in the end it’s only kindness that matters‘, ‘self-compassion is the greatest healing salve’, ‘mindfulness makes life more bearable’ and ‘whatever happened has already happened -it’s done‘ and most importantly ‘I am not alone – there are people who love me unconditionally around me, even though I still hadn’t learnt to love myself unconditionally’. This time round I took some ‘time out’ to become aware of the feelings causing me pain, and I treated myself like a wounded child – just like I would treat one of my own children. And then, I also reached out to four of my very best friends and two brothers – I didn’t not tell them what was wrong (because it still hurt too much), but I asked for their prayers and support. And they rallied around me – so grateful. In retrospect, I understand that my healing is taking place at an exponential rate because of other ‘lessons’ (bad experiences in the past)
Rule number 6: The compassion that I received from my friends and brothers made me realise that essentially the pain and hurt that I was experiencing is caused by my own mind. This time around, from a different perspective I realise that my ‘loss’ isn’t a real loss – not a significant loss in the greater scheme of things. The rest of my life still lies ahead of me (related to Lesson number 8). If I was still involved with the man who broke my heart in January, who know what future we would have had. The fact that he hurt me means that he is hurting – I don’t believe that anyone aside from sociopaths can deceive another without hurting themselves to a degree. Maybe he doesn’t feel it now, or represses it for years but eventually he will have to come to terms with his own behaviour – whatever the case – it’s none of my business any longer. My only business is letting go of my pain now, so that my ‘better’ tomorrow comes sooner. If I am capable of doing that now, then ‘here and now’ doesn’t need to be any worse than ‘then and there’ in the future.
Rule number 7: This is related to what I said about one person hurting another. What happened was because our insecurities – why would anyone ‘play the field’? We were intimate partners and yet the topic of commitment caused great anguish. And here’s the kicker – I’m not happy about what he did, but I really and truly understand it. I felt his lack of commitment and we even spoke about ‘us’ continuing with blinkers. I ignored my gut feelings. I suspect he did too which is why he did what he did. Ultimately, I attracted someone into my life who had the same broken pieces that I had. Because we really are one, I hope that both he and I are able to fix our broken pieces (just certainly not together). From here on, I’m taking fuller responsibility for fixing mine (yet another lesson in this lesson). It becomes apparent that a part of me still believed that having a partner was going to make me feel whole again. What transpired between him and I shattered the last remnants of that false belief. I don’t know exactly how yet, I am solely going to make me feel whole again.
Rule number 8 and 9:… notice now I’m getting a bit bored (refer to Rule number 1) so I’m doing 8 and 9 together, time to finish. So I choose to let go of my pain and continue living my best life. Sure, this means that I’m going to Thailand on my own, and also on a biking trip to Vietnam alone – but maybe not…. who knows. All that matters is that I have tomorrow, and whatever other days the source gives me. My life is still full of unrealised potential – as long as I am not scared. And I’m not scared. My life is a canvas, and canvas still feels half empty. There are some pretty amazing designs on it already, but why not … I think the rest of the designs I put on my canvas will be even better than what’s on it now!
Rule number 10: The answers that rescued me from my distress were and are indeed all inside of me. With a little help from my loved ones and my mediation app (Thank you Insight Timer), my inner turmoil has subsided. I now make a conscious effort not shame myself for another failed relationship. Peace returns to my life, not through my own wisdom, but rather through the collective wisdom of the giant unit that I am part of – Gaia, the Universe, God, call it what you want to. The answers are all there. My job is just not to resist the pain that will lead me to these answers. By following the pain that comes from inside of us, with humility, we are able locate the fears that are the source of the pain, and then able to let go of it. The collective wisdom that resides within us reminds us that it does not serve us any good, and therefore we don’t need to hold onto pain. In this chapter of my story, it means that I do not need to hold on to him, or any of the memories of him. I just really don’t need him at all in my life. With love, I can release all the ties I have to him. This seemed absolutely impossible a few days ago, and yet tapping into the wisdom from deep within tells me to choose myself and my wellbeing first, over anyone else’s opinions. #NoShame
Rule number 11: Yeah, I probably will forget all of this.
Rule number 12: And yes, when I need to, I will remember it again. Namaste