Changing the Narrative on Break Ups

After A While
After a while you learn the subtle difference between holding a hand
and chaining a soul,
And you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning
And company doesn’t mean security,
And you begin to learn that kisses aren’t contracts
And presents aren’t promises,
And you begin to accept your defeats
With your head up and your eyes open,
With the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child,
And learn to build all your roads on today
Because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain for plans,
And futures have a way of falling down in mid flight.
After a while you learn
That even sunshine burns if you get too much.
So you plant your own garden and decorate your own soul,
Instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.
And you learn that you really can endure…
That you really are strong
And you really do have worth
And you learn and you learn…
With every goodbye, you learn.
~ Veronica Shoffstall

We all grow up with countless narratives on the pain, devastation, and overwhelm we can feel after a break up. Countless movies, songs, and books have colored our collective consciousness for centuries and millennia.

With the commitment to my spiritual journey, ongoing practices as well as psycho-spiritual integration work the nature of break ups has slowly begun to shift for me.

Prior to that a break up would ‘shred my heart’ and trigger a ceaseless storm of emotions in my being which ranged from abandonment, unlovability, and grief to anger, disappointment, and at times even disgust. Months of my lifetime would be absorbed by this inner turmoil and diminish my inner fire and life energy. All of which neatly follows our collective expectations and conditioning.

With the beginning of my journey I realized that the duration of this state pretty quickly dropped from several months to weeks. And with the focus on self love and my relationship with Source and Self the intensity of above mentioned emotions began to lessen tangibly. In the moment of a break up the thought of it happening in service of my growth and wellbeing was more and more present. While my inner tribe told the wounded parts that the one who was leaving my life was making place for someone who would be better aligned and more loving.

But I know your heart belongs to someone you’ve yet to meet
And someday you will be loved
You’ll be loved, you’ll be loved like you never have known
The memories of me will seem more like bad dreams
Just a series of blurs like I never occurred
But someday you will be loved
~ Death Cab for Cutie, Someday You Will Be Loved


In all of these years past I thought it would become easier to navigate break ups and the pain they caused me but not once did I imagine it to be possible to experience a break up and not feel pain. Why did the possibility never cross my mind? Because the belief that parting is painful is very deeply entrained, so deeply that I could not even conceptualize a reality where pain is not part of the picture. Looking back it saddens me how blinded my mind was to this whole new range of experiences which opened up for me a year ago.

On reflection I feel it is a deepening in surrender to Self-leadership and Soul guidance as well as trust in the benevolence of Source and life which allowed this shift to express through my being. And addressing codependency and enmeshment patterns in myself released a lot of the unhealthy attachments to past pains and misbegotten beliefs, which were at the root of the pain and turmoil I felt whenever I broke up with someone or a friendship ended.

I find myself strongly rooted in the knowing that what is mine to have will not miss me or be taken from me and that all that can be taken or end was not mine to keep. My hands which used to be sticky and grasping in their unconscious service to enmeshment and codependency, have been cleaned and opened up by knowing and devotion, only lightly hold what is given to me. Always ready to let everything go when their time has come. Trusting that they shall be replaced with more beautiful and enchanting things, people, feelings, places, or beliefs.

Now a parting is colored by the overflowing of gratitude for the times we had, the beauty and joy co-created, and trust in the wisdom of consciousness which is leading us in different directions. Even if my human dislikes certain behaviors of the other in parting, she doesn’t linger on those but follows the lead of the heart into gratitude and the lead of spirit into the field of infinite possibilities opening at this point of parting.

My latest experience of a breakup felt eerily equanimous verging on joyful.

There were no feelings of loss, anger, or disappointment but feelings of awe for the beauty of the experiences had, the lessons learned, and gratitude. Gratitude that there is more that life has in store for me as I integrate the insights and lessons and that I do not have to settle for less than the dream which is alive in me.

Of course I am cognizant of the shortcomings in him and myself, as well as the aspects that render us incompatible, nonetheless my focus lies intentionally on what was great, special, or exceptional. I can appreciate the poet, and the joy of being loved in my own love language, the delight to delve into the bliss of presence with another. And I can see the aspects of myself that need healing and discipline in order to prevent them from overriding my integrity. My internal self work focus lies on the aspects of my being which enabled, attracted, and were meant to be illuminated by this experience in their need for balance and/or growth.

I woke the next morning with sunshine in my heart and being to a day filled with synchronicities, serendipity, and abundance of love. And that is how it remained. This is what it feels like to part ways when I am more fully integrated and aligned than I ever was: Easeful, grateful, compassionate, appreciative, loving, and light.

Who knows maybe this was available all along?
And maybe it is time to write new narratives about breakups?
It sure is for me.
So why not for you?

I am sure there are many beautiful experiences of breakups out there…
Please feel free to share yours and make them more visible and accessible as a seed of hope and change for others!

Photography by Unknown
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