“Parting moments are often the most profound in relationships. Every relationship must end eventually, even if it is because of death. Thinking this, our appreciation for the causes and conditions that have provided each connection is heightened.” ~ Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse
Breakups have never been my cup of tea.
I despise going through them and despise seeing other people experience them as well.
But what I hate most is the lens we look through when we’re faced with a breakup. We cling to the person and the relationship—we see no future without them.
Recently, I came to realize that we only let our resentment go and set our past lovers free years after the initial breakup. And sadly, it’s not us who willingly let them go—it’s time that does. We leave it for “time” to heal our deepest wounds.
So I thought to myself, if I eventually reach a point of true inner freedom after a few years, why am I not able to reach it right after a break up takes place?
To my surprise, I realized that I could finally find some spirituality in the endings of relationships. For me, it came down to two major ideas:
1. Using the benefits of impermanence.
The one thing standing in the way of letting someone go is our inner resistance. When a relationship ends, a known pattern ends with it. What we have known for months or years changes to another pattern that we know nothing about. So, we resist.
Personally, I find resistance utterly tiring. So I try to befriend it instead of fighting it. Dzongsar Khyentse says, “If there is no impermanence, there is no progress or change for the better. The recognition of impermanence is the key to freedom from fear of remaining forever stuck in a situation, habit, or pattern.”
Knowing that we are not “stuck” in a pattern is truly liberating. We can see breaking up as a chance to let something new into our lives, because if there was no end, there wouldn’t be another fresh start. Why not use it to your benefit?
If we look back on every breakup we’ve had, I’m certain that we can trace the beginnings that emerged from them. Maybe we have completely changed on an individual level. Maybe we have changed lifestyles and jobs. Maybe we met a new and more deserving partner. Sometimes a whole life can change after a breakup.
Why not grab it with both hands and trust that it’s leading us in the right direction?
2. Practicing unconditional love.
After a few breakups, I noticed that we become more loving and forgiving during the parting moments. Unconditional love seems to strike us when the end is near, when we feel that we are losing our partner.
But you see, some things are just beyond our control—no matter how much we try to keep someone around, eventually they will leave when they’re meant to leave. So I asked myself, why is it only when I’m on the verge of losing someone I care about, that I show love for them, unconditionally?
The truth is, I can extend this feeling to months and years if I try and operate from the awareness within me instead of operating from my egoistic mind. Thus, breaking up presents another opportunity for me to truly love my partner unconditionally and then let him go.
Breakups are our chance to want nothing in return from the person we love. It is our chance to wish them happiness and comfort, without the necessity of our presence in their lives.
I believe when we are faced with a breakup—an ending—we have no other choice but to turn around and see the situation from a different, more mindful angle.
A whole new life can begin when we do that.
Author: Elyane Youssef
Editor: Nicole Cameron