Relationships. Probably out of the scope of my normal remit, but I’ll share the tale nonetheless.
I had a beautiful experience with someone across the end of last year and early this year and, admittedly, I was finding it hard to let go.
Even after dating others, I constantly went back to thoughts of this person.
I mean, who wouldn’t? After seven years of friendship, we had taken the plunge and crossed the line. On every level it seemed that we were compatible.
We had long, lingering conversations about life and the directions we were headed. We agreed on most things—from the Thai dishes we should order to the strategy for our respective businesses. When we didn’t agree, we listened, really listened, to one another’s side, because we gave a damn. We could laugh and be silly together. The love-making was intense. We were passionate.
We had absolutely everything going for us, except this one tiny thing: his heart was still breaking from his divorce.
Now, no one has to tell me. I’ve done the analysis. I know this was not a good risk. (And that’s probably another story for another article.) But it was a risk nonetheless. And I fell. Hard.
We ended it over a patchy phone call one evening. He was traveling for work, and the line wasn’t great. To not have that personal connection and one last embrace, one last kiss, was agonising to me. And I had more I wanted to say. More I wanted to get from his side.
Four months later, my heart and mind still hadn’t given up.
I desperately wanted that good old-fashioned notion of closure, and I really wasn’t quite sure how to get it.
So, what do we do in those situations? How is it that we can accept a conclusion on something that “should” have left us long ago?
If we have access to the person, we can be vulnerable (this will be much to all our girlfriends’ dismay, by the way). As women, the mantra, “do not give him the satisfaction” is often bandied about. But is it “satisfying” him, or is it releasing ourselves?
I did something completely out of character for me. I asked for help.
I asked for help from the person in question. If you knew me, you’d know that I was “tough.” But recently, I’ve realised that’s not such an awesome trait to have. Being truthful about how “stuck” I was and admitting defeat opened the doors to a conversation, which brought me such peace.
Bizarrely, the act of sending the email itself was 95 percent of the journey. Being that open, that honest, and laying my little heart out there to say, “I need your help, because I’m suffering,” provided a release, as there was nowhere else to go after that. There was nothing else to hide behind. I was raw.
Laying our souls bare can be freeing, I’ve discovered.
(Disclaimer: Asking for help does not mean repeated floggings or ear lashings, begging any which way we can find the person. It’s a one time, honest request.)
But what if we can’t ask for help or we don’t have access to the person (or worse still, they deny us the opportunity, which is entirely possible)?
Cut the chords. There’s a visualisation technique known as “cutting the chords” that can prove to be deeply healing. I’ve done this in the past, and it has, incredibly, diffused the emotion.
Here’s a quick run down of the process I went through:
I allowed myself to sit still, be quiet and call in calm. (Taking a few deep breaths enables this beautifully.)
I closed my eyes and took time to imagine I was standing across from my ex-lover.
I imagined that there was a cord connected from my heart to his heart.
I said all the things I’d been longing to say.
I waited to see if there was a response. There was. I allowed that. Without judgment.
Then I said, “I love you, and I forgive you.”
Then I imagined he was saying the same to me; he loved me and forgave me. (Because there’s always something to forgive. It’s never a one-way street.)
I then imagined that I was able to cut the chord connecting us both and say whilst cutting, “I love you and I release you.”
Try it and see. (This works for all relationships, regardless of their nature.)
Finally, we need to nurture ourselves. We’re human; they’re human. We have two feet, and we all f*ck up on occasion.
Maybe my experience coupled with my background qualifies me to make these suggestions.
Maybe it doesn’t.
Take what serves, and leave the rest.
Author: Lynda Bayada
Editor: Toby Israel
Image: ramos alejandro/Flickr