Holding On

Holding On

Why does your heart ache?

Because you are holding onto something tightly.

As you already know, I have fallen out of a relationship with someone about a year and a half ago.

While I have recently and actively chosen to move on from this relationship, the ME before wanted to hold on.

I held onto the belief that we would one day get back together again.

All the signs just seemed to suggest it.

We remained friends following the breakup, and the deep, genuine love and connection continued into our post-relationship conversations and visits.

I just KNEW a future was possible.

It just felt REAL.

What I didn’t know was that while I was holding on tightly to this hope of the future, I lost a great deal of focus in the daily happenings of my life: work, family, friends, self-care…the actually moving on stage following a breakup.

I forgot about…ME.

That’s when life reminded me that, Yup, I can’t just WILL things to happen to me.

Because often times they’ll come back with a slap to the face:

He told me he was seeing someone new.

And while we both wanted to stay friends, I could sense avoidance, fear, and distrust emanating from him.

How could you truly be friends with a past lover when there is another person in the picture? Where do you draw the line?

This was new territory for me.

But I still wanted to try.

At first, I was upset from the energy I was receiving from him. “Why would he ‘treat’ me this way?” I asked. “Why would he avoid speaking the truth? We’re friends. He’s a good person. He wouldn’t do this.”

That’s when it hit me.

The beginning of a very subtle but familiar relationship dynamic was slowly playing out.

The expectations and disappointment, the fear and avoidance…

This happened when we were together.

And it was happening again as FRIENDS.

Nope, nope, NOPE, I am NOT going down that road again, I told myself.

I spotted the pattern before things escalated, and I did what I felt was right and respectful for both of us:

I told him I would no longer reach out to talk to him and that he’s welcome to contact me again when he’s ready to talk about himself and his feelings honestly with me.

(In retrospect, I was avoidant, fearful of, and dishonest with my feelings as well.)

While I have not heard from him since, I am internally and externally content with my relationship with him.

The anger, sadness, resentment, and disappointment I had directed at him AND myself…

The memories of delight and despair, love and rejection, acceptance and violation…

I finally sat down and felt them all THROUGH…

Revisiting and honoring all the memories and emotions I had with him…

Lovingly and clearly seeing them for the first time ever…

Speaking words of kindness and wisdom to the abandoned inner child…

And finally recognizing the memories and emotions as not me–nor mine–to keep.

With a moment of silence and gratitude, I bid them all farewell.

And with them, the aching pain in my chest and the tightness on my heart.

After finally being heard, my inner child loosened her grip and released my heart…

It now beats and breathes life with greater ease and capacity to love.

As for the hope…

With little to no pain left attached to this relationship, the hope of a future no longer lives in my mind relentlessly.

I am now free to love with a lighter and fuller heart.

And maybe, one day, he will too.

Truly,

Tuyet

P.S. If your heart is aching and you would like to release it with love, soul, and grace, I recommend the book, “Conscious Uncoupling” by Katherine Woodward Thomas. I went through this book and unraveled so much of the pain I was holding on to, much more than just this relationship.

In going through her steps and exercises, I am implementing it in other areas in my life, like work, family relations, and friendships, to untangle and let go of the things that hold me back.

I wish you all the best in your recovery. <3

Click here for more TrulyTuyet writings.

Click here for more Stories about my Art.

Click here for Videos and accompanying text.

I Can Help You Smile Again

I Can Help You Smile Again

One of my past boyfriends gifted me this panda bear when we were out at a fair. (I whooped his butt at a game, and the concession stand dude made him pay for the prize lol).

I Can Help You Smile Again

A few months later, we broke up and as much as I wanted to forget and move on from this relationship, I still loved him and the bear he had given me.

Our relationship was long distance, so holding this bear when we were away gave me a great sense of calm and peace. She fits in my arms just right, holding her little bum at the crook of my arm and her head at the palm of my hand.

I held her close to my chest–my heart space–nearly every night.

After the breakup, I still held my little friend for comfort and relief as I sorted through the deep suffering and pain from the loss I was experiencing from the breakup.

In my time of healing, I noticed my little bear had lost her smile: the thread pulled out from her small, white muzzle.

“How…fitting,” I thought.

I left her unsmiling for months.

It’s now July, about one and half years since my relationship ended.

With my heart feeling full of the love and life I once remembered from the many moments of solitude and self-healing, I can now help my little friend smile again.

Being Present for the Past

Being Present for the Past

I drew this as a result of a past guilt I had placed on myself.

I knew it was guilt.

I talked about the story consistently with this feeling.

But I never really took the time to go THROUGH the guilt.

To truly face it, feel it, and see it for what it REALLY is.

In my mind, I had repeated over and over:

“If I didn’t get so emotional,

If only I was aware of my emotions, I could have prevented this from happening.

From losing this relationship and hurting someone I really loved.”

But what resulted in this self-blame was the shame that came with my emotions.

I couldn’t feel free to express my emotions anymore.

Because if I did, I would only hurt someone else.

And I didn’t want to do that.

“Be in control of your emotions.

Be there for your emotions.

You are the only one who can hold space for your emotions.”

I kept telling myself.

And so I did.

I kept my feelings inside.

Away from other people.

Sometimes even away from myself.

But in doing so, I kept myself from being true to my feelings with other people.

Only after I processed my feelings and emotions to a great extent did I feel safe to share my thoughts and feelings.

Sounds nice, right?

“Deal with your own problems,” I hear people say.

And that’s what I wanted from other people too.

I wanted to help people with their emotions, but there’s only so much I could do before I got caught in their vortex of emotions too.

But I realize now:

It’s okay for me to express those feelings.

It’s okay for me to be angry outwardly towards someone else.

It’s okay to feel upset because in that moment I feel like it’s someone else’s fault.

It’s okay to feel disappointed and cheated and neglected and ignored for so long.

And let them all out.

It’s okay to FEEL.

Yes, these emotions may cause misunderstandings and hurt feelings.

But the truth is, if I’m feeling these emotions, I’m hurt too.

I didn’t realize then that when I was being open with my feelings with this person, I was being kind enough to myself to let these feelings be felt.

To be heard,

To be known,

To be witnessed,

By someone else.

I was being vulnerable.

I’ve always wanted to save other people’s feelings.

To protect them from my emotions.

But at the expense of my own feelings?

No.

Not anymore.

I don’t need to hide anymore.

The feelings I feel NEED to be seen,

Felt,

Acknowledged,

One way or another.

It’s being able to love myself even in the presence of these emotions,

Emotions I thought I wasn’t allowed to feel:

Anger, disappointment, sadness, frustration, abandonment, loneliness…

And know that in experiencing these emotions,

I am still human.

Even if it means someone else may be hurt by it,

Everything will be okay.

Their hurt and pain is also okay too.

It means something doesn’t feel good to them so need to let those feelings to be felt and acknowledged too.

What helped me get over the guilt?

Remembering when I let myself be angry.

Hold Space for the Pain

Hold Space for the Pain

“Sense the pain
Feel the pain
See it for what it is
And just allow it to BE…
That is love and acceptance”
.
Very often we walk around carrying with us enormous pain. We may or may not be aware of it.
But if something came up when you hear “pain,” it’s probably because it is there inside you.
Right there.
Right now.
And that is okay.
If you can be aware of the pain when it arises, when you can feel it and see it for what it is, when you can be there FOR the pain that has been ignored for as long as it has been, you are choosing to be kind.
Kind to yourself and kind to the pain.
And by allowing that pain a space to simply BE, you may notice how its intensity lessens and maybe even…”disappear.”
It’s because you finally acknowledged it.
You recognized it.
And instead of running away from pain, you let it “vent,” you let it cry. You rest your hand on its shoulder, maybe even give it a tight hug.
You gave it LOVE.
And in return, the pain feels your love.
And when something feels loved, it will return to you as LOVE. ❤️
.
Wow, I think I need to get this description drawn into a series of pictures or even animated…OH MAN! That’s a thought!

On a side note, thank you so much for your patience everyone! I have been very much to myself lately but I’m happy I decided to take some time off from social media. I feel like I can create freely again. In other words, no holding back! Lots of changes and plans for my social media, including Youtube, Instagram and Facebook! Please be on the lookout for that. I can’t wait to share! 😊
With #truthlovelife,
Tuyet Tran

Hold Space for the Pain