We all play roles.
We play the roles of a son, daughter, spouse, father, mother, lover, and many others.
The ancient Indian scriptures calls this samsara (the cyclic playing out of the material world). As long as we have relationships in this samsara, we’ll have conflicts. And when in a romantic relationship, the intensity of both the bond and the conflicts are more intense.
Through my meandering experiences of being in love and out of it, and while developing an understanding of the scriptures, I’ve been able to find a more evolved way to experience love in a relationship. A broken heart, an empty pocket, and failure are the three best teachers. If you’ve had a breakup recently and are looking for a way to find ground, read on.
The internet is full of tips on how to overcome a breakup. From “agony aunts” to psychologists, everyone has suggestions about getting back to life after a heartbreak. Some of the solutions that I have seen are to cry it out, to stop stalking exes on social media, to not remain glued to the phone, to socialize, and to take a vacation.
If you notice, none of these popular suggestions ask you to deal with yourself first. All suggestions are only ways to manage the external world. I invite you to a more difficult, but also more rewarding, path.
Most of our romantic relationships are attachments. We are attached to our partner. We expect our partner to do things for us and to behave in a certain way. We create a sort of blissful prison for us and for our lover. And one day the basic human need to be an individual arises. Expectations are not met. Things change and will never be the same again. The people in the relationship change. Before you know it, your partner is a “different” person.
Expectations may be the single biggest reason for suffering in a relationship—and what is most responsible for ending them.
Here are some ways to get over a breakup in a spiritual manner.
Focus on you.
A breakup is a great opportunity to look inward. Our usual reaction is to blame the other person and outside circumstances. Try the approach of looking inward, owning up, and taking responsibility. Focus on how you feel energetically.
A heartbreak can be used to contemplate one’s relationship with themselves:
Do you love yourself enough?
Why do you feel you need someone to “complete” you?
Why are you hanging on to something that is not under your control?
If you do love and respect yourself enough, you would not cling to something that was not meant to be.
Spend time with yourself and learn to love yourself a little more. Be your best friend, and stand with love in your heart, and love for yourself. When I accepted who I am and made an effort to grow and evolve, I found a much deeper meaning to my existence and was able to overcome breakups more easily.
Focus on letting go.
Oftentimes, the resistance to accepting things as they are is the reason we become upset. Love leaves deep memories in the mind—memories that come back stronger in the future. We wrestle with these memories and entangle ourselves in thoughts of the past; we are crushed by the thought of missing an experience from our past and the thought of it being lost for our future.
What was, was. What will be, will be. What is, is.
Entertain memories of your ex and of your times together. Smile as you take that memory and set it aside. If your ex decided to walk away, accept it. Let him or her go. There is so much independence in letting the person go.
As you experiment with this, you will find that the memories seem to haunt you more than ever. If you have cultivated enough self-love, it will be easier to let go.
Remember, it’s a battle within your mind, and one would need to be strong and loving in order to actually let go.
Focus on non-attachment.
Attachment is the root cause of all suffering says the Bhagavad Gita. Can love exist without attachment? Yes, it can. And love without attachment is supreme freedom.
Imagine a love relationship where there is no constraint, no expectations, or attachments. Such a relationship would be a celebration of life. We should aspire to elevate our minds to love without expectations and attachments.
Love is joy.
If you’ve practiced self-love, letting go, and non-attachment, joy would flow naturally. Focus on the joy of life that is within your being. The world would look beautiful again. Your ex would become a loving memory.
Let your love be a celebration of freedom of two individuals. Love with everything you have, and let go of the expectation that your lover respond in a certain way. Let your life blossom. Love will then be the best experience in life. It will be what the Indian scriptures call ananda, or bliss.
Author: Ranjith Vallathol
Image: “Mad Love“
Editor: Travis May
Copy Editor: Nicole Cameron
Social Editor: Waylon Lewis