Wisdom Lesson #7: How to Love After Losing — Loving Disentanglement

February 14, 2012

I wasn’t sure how I’d feel today but I’m happy to report (to you and to myself) I am actually in good spirits. It’s my first Valentine’s Day after the end of a … no, THE … long-term relationship; the one I believed (and hoped) would last forever that didn’t.

And despite my intellectual understanding that everything (including a relationship) either evolves or dies, and my spiritual practice that teaches only love is real, I am definitely not immune from disappointment, heartbreak and the pain of being wonderfully, fearfully human. You know … the pain that can often lead to “the bathroom floor experience”.

The Bathroom Floor Experience

I am no stranger to the “bathroom floor” experience that Iyanla, Pema Chodron, Liz Gilbert and Debbie Ford have described. That moment when you come face to face with the type of pain that breaks you – either down or open. The type of tumult that smirks as it looks you in the eye and punches you in the gut. It’s that moment when what you feared is found and what you hoped is lost.

It is the point when you break out into the ugly cry over and again until you don’t have any more tears to offer; the moment when all you can do is assume the fetal position on the bathroom floor because the only thing that can console you is the cold tile and the private “coming undone” time only the bathroom experience can provide.

I wasn’t exactly looking forward to it, mind you, but I’d left enough room in my mind just in case to succumb to such a moment today. Valentine’s Day, in all of its chaotic hyper-consumeristic glory (yes, that’s a word), certainly seemed capable of tormenting me with reminders of what is no more. All of the commercials and love songs and questions and couples chatter are enough to drive even the most sane and well-adjusted single person into the bathroom if single isn’t where you thought you’d be.

Willing To See Things Differently

But today I was actually content, balanced, well and encouraged. I think it’s because although I was prepared for a heavy heart my constant prayer during this time, as taught by A Course In Miracles, is I am willing to see things differently. I am willing to embrace the new normal, to see the past, present and future and my former life partner with the eyes of God and to remember that only love is real.

I am also encouraged that although the nature of the relationship has changed, we’re still committed. I think it’s because we’ve done enough work and share enough love and respect that even in the absence of “happily ever after” we’re still clear, perhaps more clear than ever.

Loving Disentanglement

Now we are committed to what I call loving disentanglement. We’re committed to loving each other through this transition by leaving the other person better than we found them. Real love means you desire for and encourage in the other their best self, whether you are together or not.

And that’s love. Love without condition or restriction. Loving the other enough to show up when we’d rather run like hell in the other direction. Loving each other enough to leave enough room for friends and family to adjust to the new normal. Loving each other enough to give space when it’s required and to be physically and emotionally present when we know intuitively it’s desired. The type of love that tells you to get up from the bathroom floor, unlock the door and cross the threshold believing you are able to face whatever may come.

Only a couple of hours remain in Valentine’s Day 2012. I am still in a good place. I am in my writing space far away from the bathroom floor for now. Thankfully, now is all there is.

Happy Valentine’s Day to you (and to me!). Here’s to love! Real love.

Creative Commons License
Wisdom in the Whisper™ lessons and WisdomintheWhisper.com by Tonya Marie is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. Based on a work at www.wisdominthewhisper.com.

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