Surrendering to what my heart knows to be good for me can really suck! Letting go of a 5-year investment in a romantic relationship is hard. During these years saying YES to new adventures (i.e. moving from Wolfeboro, NH to Manchester, MA … traveling to Greek Islands & making month-long pilgrimages to the Ganges in Rishikesh, India … embarking on new business platforms) brightened my days. Early on I heard messages in my gut telling me to let him go. Yet I allowed hope to guide me. In doing so I learned patience, compassion and forgiveness. My heart space deepened in strength.
Now I’m feeling great loss…A loss of an intimate life partner where the commitment and ease of sharing and living from an honest open heart was consistent and sublime. NOT. That was my dream: the dream of what the basis of the relationship should be rather than what it really was. My dream wasn’t worth hanging onto with him as it led to disappointment. In the end it bred resentment, frustration and pain. And so here I am in a land of the In-Betweens!
We are still dearest friends. We have intertwined so much of our lives that I can’t just say hasta la vista, baby, cut all ties & move on! We have agreed to change the game plan and date other people. Been here before? In the Land of the In-Betweens?
Throughout my life I’ve been here umpteen times. In the early days it was frightening. Now I regard it as sacred. A time to slide down the slippery slope of unknown, formless, identity-less emptiness with trust and faith in my inner guidance system and the great mystery of life. There is a profound sense of how easy it would be to depart. I don’t mean suicide but rather a level of completion. Before moving on to the next there is a sense of being done, feeling lost, alone, disconnection, timelessness, freefall. All of which my mind can interpret as downright terror. There is more. As I leave the Us, I feel the desire to be solitary for a while, even though my mind is screaming to jump right back to the world of Us. In the silent moments I am disassembling what was as part of the natural cycle of life.
Having no sense of belonging to a place can drive one to numb out. Alcohol, food, sex, self-inflicted pain of many sorts. This strategy doesn’t work. Because the numbing agents can’t remedy the situation. The feelings of being lost, ungrounded and without a place are truly an enlightened state of being that the great masters speak of as formlessness. So rather than interpreting this experience as catastrophic, why not embrace the former….a gift with the opportunity to create anew? Let the walls of the relationship come tumbling down. From that dust a new life will birth. A transformed me floating in sublime love!
10 Steps to Navigate through the Land of the Romantic In-Betweens?
- Stop listening to reactions! The mind blabbers insidiously about blame & fear! Don’t listen!
- Take deep breaths. Aim to breath in & out of the center of your heart.
- Give yourself hugs and ask for them on a regular basis.
- Allow yourself time to go within and feel the freefall without interpretation.
- Don’t indulge in the story of the relationship you’re letting go of. Exemption: Allow yourself to share the story once every couple of days to wean yourself off of it. Notice how your emotions shift when you tell the story vs. focusing on what feels inspiring.
- Don’t make major decisions such as starting a new relationship, job or big-ticket purchases.
- Lay low. Spend time in silence. When inspired to be with others…go for it!
- Practice listening to your heart & body in the empty moments.
- Respect your dream and where you are. There is no need to be anywhere else. Allow yourself the time to be where you are without shoulds. I shouldn’t feel this way. I should be over him. There is a huge difference between staying attached/regretting vs. surrender/grieving.
- Finally … have fun! Focus your attention on what inspires & brings you joy!