When things don’t work out

Relationships end. With all the love, desire, passion, and work in the world, relationships still end. In the past when this has happened I’ve collapsed in a heap of depression and tears and taken to my bed for weeks, if not longer. 

Why was this happening again? Was I too much? Was I unlovable? Was I overly demanding? Did it have anything to do with me?

You see I used to have so much invested in the relationship. Way, way more than a commitment. I lost myself to relationships in the past. I became subsumed in them. So naturally when it ended, so did I. My identity was the relationship. I needed the relationship to feel any sort of self worth.

Not this time. I see things so differently now.

A six year relationship ended earlier this year. And I’m fine. Yes, I felt a deep sadness and loneliness for a while. I felt a bit of ‘poor me, why has this happened again?’ I allowed in all the feelings and emotions and let them pass. If I’m honest I also felt huge relief.

Here’s what I’ve learned from this meaningful relationship ending:

  • I’m now more at peace than I was when in the relationship — which tells me a lot

  • I know on an even deeper level that I don’t need a relationship to feel … (fill in your own particular blank)

  • Life has a way of teaching us what lessons we need to learn

  • I’ve learned to let go of all expectations about what a perfect relationship should look like and this feels completely liberating

  • Friendships with no expectations (and no benefits!) are beautiful

  • Doing what brings you joy opens you up to all sorts of exciting opportunities

  • There really is no failure. It’s all unfolding as it’s meant to

  • I like my own company (a lot)

  • Our own egos cause our suffering

We make up all sorts of stories about relationships, ours and others, and have huge expectations on them working out the way we planned them. We have huge egos! We expect things to go our way. Always. What if that’s not the greater plan?

If it’s meant to be it will be. If it’s not, then it’s really time to let it go. Relationships aren’t meant to cause pain. Sure, we commit and choose each other daily but it shouldn’t be hard work.

It’s interesting what’s unfolding even as I write this blog post.  The headline no longer really makes sense to me — ‘when things don’t work out’. What I now see is that everything works out as it’s meant to work out. It’s just that my ‘ego’ wanted it to be a different way.

Yes, we feel the pain of separation, the loss of a mutual future, all the holidays and fun and laughter we’d planned in our minds. That’s what we’re missing. We’re missing the story we’d created and the person we’d created to fit into that story.

So I think we can safely say that things did work out.

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