Often, in life, we are running so fast to the next thing that we forget to stop and look around where we currently are. Well, my life felt suddenly halted when my relationship ended. I was happy with whom I chose as my partner and I thought this person was going to be my partner for life. Though we had different ways of handling things and communicating, I wanted to work together to figure out our balance and work through our challenges as they arose. Well, it didn’t work out that way. They decided that I wasn’t the one they wanted to be with. In their eyes, it was more stress than happiness and it no longer served them to be with me. This is still not an easy truth for me to grasp, but it is out of my control. What is in my control is how I choose to handle this change in my life. I cannot change their mind or go back in time to make things right, so I am choosing to focus on me, right now, where I am.
Naturally, the necessary lesson I am learning right now, is acceptance. This is a tough one for me. I have often spent time looking behind me at what once was and / or looking forward to what I want or what could be (living in my head). If we are never in the moment, however; we cannot appreciate what is. I have been replaying the past in my mind and wishing that I could have made different choices or learned to respond and not react so that my relationship still existed. This is very unproductive and not reality. So I’ve decided it is time to snap out of it and realize that this is where I am at now. There is nothing I can do to take back what was said or done. All I can do is learn and grow today from whom I was yesterday. I am happy to report that I am learning how to really listen and then respond, instead of becoming defensive and reactive with my emotions. No one else really knows my real heart and my true intentions, so unless I can become a better communicator, then I will remain a mystery or someone that is often misunderstood. Another benefit of acceptance is that it forces me to deal with reality, as mentioned above. So this led me to step two, accepting myself.
Regardless, if you are in an intimate relationship or not, you need to love and accept yourself. When my relationship ended, I blamed myself for everything that went wrong, thinking if only I was different or better, but this only left me feeling worthless and depleted. It didn’t take me long to change those thoughts of “not being good enough” to feeling compassion and love for myself. No one else is going to fill me with love; it is up to me. I decided to be okay with my own flaws and stop comparing myself to others. I can only be better than I was yesterday and I don’t have to be what my partner needed me to be. I am me and there is nothing wrong with that. Even though, I accept myself and where I am at today, I still decided I wanted to look into the dark sides of me and learn how to grow without my partner needing me to. I’m doing it for myself, so that I am okay with or without anyone else, but if I do find a life partner one day, I want to be ready.
It is hard to admit ones flaws and shortcomings. I am taking a hard look at myself and my insecurities that arose in the relationship. One big thing for me is the fear of abandonment. Due to this fear, I have become attached to people in my life and thus have expectations from them. Though I am no longer co-dependent in my relationships (as I was in my 20s), I still lack trust in others due to my fear of them leaving. I question their motives, instead of accepting that it is their reality and realizing that other people’s choices are not about me, but really about them and their life. This concept is still hard for me to grasp. I must realize that my partner leaving was really about my partner, not about me. I felt crushed that they didn’t feel our relationship was worth fighting for, but that was only the story I told myself upon hearing the news. This is also how I felt when my mom left my dad. I was a baby (18 months old) and I grew up feeling like I didn’t have a mom, because she chose to leave us and didn’t feel it was worth the fight to have us in her life. So I developed a story in my head that says “everyone always leaves me” or “I’m not good enough to love” or “I have to earn love”. I am changing that story to “things change and nothing is permanent” and “it is not always about me”. I am learning to detach from things and rely on myself to be strong, to be loved, and to feel like I am enough.
The truth is, life goes on with or without you. I choose to live my life with gratitude, peace, and love in my heart. I don’t want to be bitter, angry, or resentful at the things in which I have no control over. I want to be better tomorrow than I was yesterday and to keep growing and evolving. I am spending a lot of time in solitude and really facing myself in the mirror and facing all of my fears head on. I don’t need others to make me happy, though they add joy to my life; it can only come from within. If you are also struggling with change, please know that you are loved and you are good enough and accept where you are at right now and know that nothing is permanent. Change is constant and your pain will heal if you can walk or even crawl through it. Choose compassion and love always and you will find peace again.