It’s a Thursday evening at 8:30 p.m. and I find myself facing a hard truth.
I have been suffering and I have to break up with myself.
It is a split that has been a long time coming.
Buddhism speaks of attachment being the root of our suffering. We attach to all kinds of things—people, places, experiences, hopes, and dreams, and most notable to me now is the way in which we become attached to our way of being.
We suffer due to our attachment and we are attached to our suffering—round and around it goes. When we have grown up in a chaotic, unpredictable home, when we are survivors of trauma, we can often spin a web and create a story of our lives that brings us more suffering.
It gets exhausting; if you’ve been there, you know what I am talking about.
Of course, we don’t think we are doing this in the moment. We want to be happy, or so we say, but the truth is that we have become comfortable with our misery. It is like an old, dirty blanket that we refuse to believe ever needs to be washed.
We have grown rather attached to it. We fuel it with everything it needs to stay, like voices that say, “You’re not good enough,” “Everything is your fault,” “You are such a mess, no wonder you are alone,” or the behaviors, like going back on our word or making choices that don’t support our highest good, for a moment of ease or pleasure. These simple, deeply ingrained behaviors are guaranteeing that we can stay deeply rooted to our suffering.
It feels uncomfortable to challenge those voices and behaviors and to allow ourselves to detach from them. After all, they have become the backbone of the drama that has become a big part of our lives. And let’s be honest—breakups suck, even (especially) when they are necessary.
They are painful, as letting go tends to be. We have to know when to say enough is enough and then be brave enough to take the action to leave said relationship behind. It is trading in something we know for sure for something we can’t be sure will be any better. Breaking up with yourself is especially difficult because “wherever you go, there you are” and because we are whole, we can’t “throw the baby out with the bath water,” so to speak.
The parts of ourselves that are amazing and add value to our lives and the lives of others, we need to keep, we need to nourish and build upon.
Just as one would in a mature breakup, we can say thank you to that part of the relationship that served to teach us something, and gracefully begin to let it go.
I am breaking up with the part of myself that isn’t impeccable with her word, that says rude, hurtful, and downright bullsh*t things to herself. The part that doesn’t think she is good enough or worthy of love. I am breaking up with the part of myself that is addicted to suffering and the behaviors that keep that addiction alive. I am sending gratitude to all of those parts for the ways in which they have led me down a path to self-discovery and a commitment to healing old wounds.
It isn’t an easy part to say goodbye to, although it has caused me and those I love pain on numerous occasions.
After any breakup, we have to slowly rebuild ourselves. It takes strength, courage, and devotion. As we say goodbye, as we detach from the part of ourselves that secretly loves to suffer, we make room for welcoming in a partnership to our true self.
Who we really are is not the wounded child who feels comfort in chaos and pain; who we really are is the one who knows we are worthy, beautiful, and deserving of true happiness, and that is a part I am excited to build a new relationship with.