Ending a relationship (any relationship) is horrible. It feels like you're losing something. Whether it's a good relationship or a bad relationship; whether it's a good loss or a bad loss; ending it feels like a connection has been severed. Most of the time it hurts. Or does it? Well, of course it does. I feel the hurt. Hurt is not hearsay. I don't need to consult with a hurt expert to get an opinion on the way I feel. I am the hurt expert! The pain is here, in my body. I can point to it. I feel the anxiety, I feel the fear, I feel the anger, I feel the consequences of this loss!
The bottom line is, I was in a relationship, and it didn't work out. I had a plan, but it didn't work out. I had hopes, and they were dashed. I had dreams, and they were crushed. The I that I'm referring to is "Cheryl", the person that I see in the mirror every morning--the person that "this life" belongs to. The person that I'm speaking to is you, the individual reading this blog post. There is a "you" and you also have a life that belongs to you. Does that sound fairly accurate? Because this is a new blog and you may not be familiar with the way this works, let me explain. This blog is about looking at the problem. Not as you want it to be, but as it is. We can absolutely look at the problem through the lens of issues related to women, moms, wives, etc. but the one problem is still the one problem as it is...not as you, or I, want it to be. If you want conventional relationship help and dating advice on the way to please and keep your man, Oprah has a really nice section on her website here http://www.oprah.com/relationships.html where you can read about "Six Totally Normal Freak Outs That Can Shape Your Relationship", and other fascinating topics. If you are going through relationship issues, but you're ready to address the real problem, then let's proceed.
First, let's look at what a relationship is. Before we define the word "relationship", "relationship" is a bunch of lines and curves squished together to form symbols that we call letters and then, a word. Before we define it, "relationship" is also a neutral sound that is heard. We have added meaning to this neutral sound and defined it as, "the way in which two or more concepts, objects or people are connected". According to this definition, I need at least 2 concepts, objects or people to form a relationship. Well, mission accomplished. In my divorce issue, there is a relationship here. Common sense would tell you it's the relationship between me and my husband (you will find no common sense here), but it is not the relationship between me and my husband. It is the relationship between the two concepts of "me" and "my life".
If you believe in the concept of a relationship, then this is the only relationship there is. You and your life...as you've defined it. Two concepts. First there is the sense of "I" or me. Everyone feels this sense of "I". Then there is "your life". Your life consists of everything you sense. Your body, other bodies, whatever you see, anything you hear, everything you taste and touch, whatever you think, interpret and remember, and anything you smell and feel. Your life is always changing. You try your best to control it. You try your best to hold onto something, but the things you sense change constantly. There's always a different sound, a different sight, a different taste, a different touch, a different feeling. Your sight can't hold onto anything, your hearing can't hold onto anything, your sense of taste can't hold onto anything, your feelings can't hold onto anything. Your life is unstable, it's ever changing. At times what you sense is good, and at times what you sense is shitty (figuratively and literally) but it's yours. You're living it. You made it. You have it. You've claimed it. It belongs to you. And it's different than someone else's life. You have "your life" and they have their lives. Sometimes these separate lives clash and don't mesh well together. The sensing, thinking and interpreting going on over there in "that life" doesn't mix well with the sensing, thinking and interpreting going on over here in "this life". Kinda like what seems to be going on with my marriage and in some of your relationships. Are you with me?
Despite the instability and ever-changing-ness of "my life" sometimes I'm able to hold onto something, like another person...a husband, a child, or a friend, for instance. Finally, some stability!! Then, they leave, they die, or they reject me. Of course, I'm angry, depressed, anxious and fearful when this happens. It hurts when part of my life is taken away from me. The loss I feel, the pain I feel, the despair I feel and the anguish I feel when a relationship is severed is my life, once again, slipping through my fingers. It's, once again, my inability to hold onto something. So what can I do about it? How can I stop all these losses? How can I hold onto happiness in the relationship between me and my life? Before I give you the answer to this age old question, let's look at the "me" that's trying to find stability, happiness and (in my case) a good man and a happy marriage.
First, let's do this short exercise. This may seem elementary, and I don't mean to insult your intelligence, but because we think we already know what the problem is, these exercises are necessary. Before we define the word "me", "me" is a bunch of lines and curves squished together to form symbols that we call "letters" and, finally, a word. Before we define it, "me" is also a neutral sound that is heard. We have added meaning to this neutral sound and defined it as, "a pronoun used by a speaker to refer to himself or herself as the object of a verb or preposition". Well, I'm not a pronoun so that can't be the "me" that I'm referring to when I say "me". The definition mentions "a speaker". That must be "me". So lets look at that definition, a "speaker" is a noun and is defined as a "person who speaks". Okay. We're not nouns, so the "me" that has a life can't be a "speaker". The definition of speaker mentions a "person", so a "person" must be the "me" that has a life. "Person" is also a noun and is defined as "a human being regarded as an individual". We've already established that I am not a "noun", so I can't be a "person", so let's give it one more shot. What is a human being? A "human being" must be the "me" that has a life. We see from the definition "human being" is also a noun and is a "man, woman, or child of the species Homo sapien....".
We can go in this circle of madness all day, but I need to prepare lunch, so I gotta wrap this up. You will never get to "me" by defining it. You will never get to "you" by reading a book, reading a blog, listening to a tape, viewing a video or thinking deep thoughts. If you now ask, "If I'm not any of those nouns or descriptions, then who am I", and if you try to look for an answer using what you think you know, you're starting that circle of madness all over again. Don't answer the question, just look. Don't answer the question, just listen. Don't answer the question, just feel. But, what does looking, listening and feeling have to do with my dying relationship? Everything. My husband is doing the exact same thing that I'm doing. He is attempting to answer the question, "who am I". Even if he doesn't realize it, that is exactly what he's trying to do. My husband is throwing everything he has at trying to find what he thinks he's lost. Himself. My husband is frantically searching for the home he thinks he denied. My husband is where I can find "me". My husband is part of this life that I think I own. This means that I believe I own him. He's mine, and he should be the way I want him to be. This "life" (which includes my husband) that I've separated from myself seems to have a life of it's own and it's doing what it can to find Peace...to find home..to find Me. In essence, I am looking for myself and my husband is looking for himself. We're looking for each other not realizing that we're not lost. We're not separate. There is no "me" and "my life". We're the same. There is no relationship because there are not two things.
The feelings that arise when I see my husband or think of my husband are welcome and embraced because they're "me". The hurt is me, the pain is me, the anger is me, the frustration is me! It's true that there is no "I" and there is no "me"; but you cannot live without the "me" until you learn to live with it. You cannot live without the life that you've made until you learn to live with it. In other words, you can't see that you are no thing until you see and admit that you are everything. Once you see this, you no longer have to search for yourself. The constant reminders are no longer necessary. I don't have to look anymore, he doesn't have to look anymore. There is nothing separating "me" from "my life"; they are the same. There is no "relationship" because there is not "two". And I see that there never was.
If you're looking for yourself, then look inside of you; look at the "person" you're in a "relationship" with. Looking at that "person", that "situation" and that "circumstance", is looking inside of you. Look at the feelings they evoke. You don't have to do anything. Simply look. Be charitable if those feelings are "bad". No one is doing anything to you. You are the "doer". The feeling of anger, frustration, doubt and loneliness was already there! The "person" in your life simply helped you to notice it so you could be healed. Go ahead and feel the feelings that arise with life events. Feel them without guilt, blame or shame. That's you...just remember that. There's nothing wrong with asking a question and looking for an answer. Just know that there is no need for a question. There is no need for an answer. The question, "Who am I" is not necessary. You have not been split in two. There is not a "you" and an "other". You have not changed, and despite what you think is happening, the proof that you cannot change and that you are One, is all around you. Relationships end, divorces happen, I go to court, people leave, loved ones die; but none of that causes you, or me, to lose anything and none of it changes who we really are. Drop the nouns, pronouns, definitions and descriptions and look at your relationship from who you really are. See that there is no "relationship". Life knows what it's doing, just accept the fact that you're already accepting and loving it all. Remember there's nothing for you to do. There's nothing for me to do in this situation, except look. Doing happens. Everything is taking care of itself...without my interference.
Men. You can't live with them because they're not there. Thank God!! Just kidding fellas...