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.
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