“The most powerful relationship you will ever have is the relationship with yourself.” ~ Steve Maraboli
It’s not easy when a relationship that we are invested in threatens to bury our personal truths.
There may be many signals that we should walk away from someone we still love, but our justifications blind us.
Often, the truth of a situation is a catalyst for setting us free. But how can we be free when our finances, our children, our home, our families could be the cost of that freedom?
For weeks, months and years we hold on. Brave. Determined. Self-sacrificing.
But there is one signal that is stronger than all the rest: the moment when we realize that we no longer love the person that we are while loving that other person.
That moment may come as a shock because our souls are still screaming that if we love our partner, the relationship must be worth saving. And therein lies the rub: In having the presence of mind and heart to know that to love someone else, we must love ourselves first and foremost. If we no longer love who we are within that relationship, we neither honor ourselves or our partner by hanging on.
The symptoms of being at this kind of crossroads are many—here are some that you may recognize:
You can’t seem to get yourself out of bed in the morning, even though your children need attention.
Your appearance is of no consequence. You have other, more important things to do, like tending to the real things in life—so suddenly, you are not considering yourself “real” enough to tend to?
You’re not interested in eating well…anything will do. But you’ll make sure that everyone else gets fed properly while you snack on bread and any other easy carb that falls into your paws.
You no longer think about those dreams that used to keep you up all night. Everything has faded to a dull shade of grey.
You refuse invitations to meet with friends, and going outside seems like too much bother.
You’re tired. Very tired. Emotionally exhausted and no amount of sleep will cure your desire to just close your eyes.
You have moments of despising yourself. When you look in the mirror, you don’t recognize the person staring back, your eyes dull and lifeless. You wonder who that person is, as you have not connected to her for so long that now you are a stranger to yourself.
You do things that are out of character for you. Too much alcohol, flirting with unavailable men, yelling at your children. It’s alright, it’s just a phase you tell yourself. Things will get better.
But deep down inside you know that they won’t. Deep down inside you know that you have to walk away. You know that neither of you are growing as human beings, that you both bring out the worst in each other.
To your family and friends, this may look like a refusal to “make things work,” but really you are experiencing soul death.
The soul feeds on truth. The soul craves authenticity. The soul requires that you at least be honest with yourself.
You can lie all you want to everyone else, but there is no way you can fool your inner wisdom.
And now you have to choose between yourself and the opinions and needs of everyone who has a stake or thinks they have a stake in your relationship.
I hope you will forgive me for being blunt, but I have walked this road and it hurt like hell.
Staying with someone to avoid hurting them is hurting them. They deserve to be set free to evolve into better partners, better lovers, better parents.
This will hurt whether you stay or you go. And the worst of it is pulling the Band-Aid off.
Yes, things will look worse before they look better. Broken love is a b*tch.
But among the ruins you will feel a faint glimmer of hope. At first, it will be the tiniest spark; a moment of joy and recognition of yourself that will jump start your soul. Somewhere deep down you will experience a knowing.
It’s called freedom. Not from your relationship only, but from the lies your heart told you even as your soul was screaming for release.
In those moments you will begin to heal. The repairs will begin to the bridge that collapsed between you and your purpose. Yes, you loved and that love was real and everyone hoped that it would last a lifetime.
But the only love that must last a lifetime is the love for yourself. Without it you are only a shadow and a wisp of a promise of something good for someone else.
And one day soon, you will look in the mirror and see your soul shining back. You will smile and recognize the empowered human being that has much to offer to the consciousness, but more importantly, has much to offer to its own incarnated purpose.
There are so many of us who once stood shaken and too tired to fight. But now that we’re on the other side, we can stand by you.
There is nothing left to do now but to decide to love yourself once more.
“As I began to love myself I found that anguish and emotional suffering are only warning signs that I was living against my own truth. Today, I know, this is “AUTHENTICITY”. ~ Charlie Chaplin.
Author: Monika Carless
Editor: Renée Picard
Image: Pixaby / Wiki Commons