Cross Post: Lessons Learned - Abandoned by a Lover Part 2
I have never understood or have been good at the dating game. Playing the game or going through the numbers, or the numbers game or whatever, has never been my thing. Perhaps it’s because I never really dated much. I don’t know. I am tired of trying to figure it out. In this last situation, my mom told me that I shouldn’t have got my heart involved so soon. Wise advice from a woman made of teflon. But I am not designed like that. I don’t know how not to involve my heart. I’m an expressive individual. (I guess that kind of goes along with the writer thing). When I’m excited about a person being in my life, I am expressive about it. I don’t grasp the concept of playing a game or pretending I’m feeling one way while expressing another.
This awareness has brought me clarity and confusion. I know and love who I am no matter what…well, on most days I do. It’s a process. But I no longer think of myself as some kind of freak because of my huge capacity for love and compassion and my ability to express it. I just have to figure out who is worthy of sharing myself with. And when I make a mistake and share that beautiful, vulnerable part of myself with the wrong person, I need to learn how to be kind to myself as I heal.
When I began to analyze the relationship I described in Abandoned by a Lover Part 1, the first thing I had to do was acknowledge to myself that that their had been a relationship. For awhile, I did not give myself the right to grieve because the “relationship” only lasted for a short time. The phrase, “get over it” played over and over again in my head from my critical inner voice. That phrase still plays from time to time, but it’s slowly getting drowned out by self compassion.
“All heartbreaks…from mild to severe, and all that lies between…need treatment in order for it to go away (Thomas, 2012).”
As I am allowing myself to grieve, I have been able to get into the specifics about how I could have done things differently. I wanted to do this with self-compassion, by figuring out what I could have done different instead of what I did wrong. This is because I am so good at giving myself a personal beat down for everything.
The overarching theme was that even though I felt abandoned by him, I had been abandoning myself almost from the beginning. For example, I didn’t like the way he was communicating with me, but I accepted it because I felt it was better to be “flexible” than to speak up for what I really needed.
I also realized that on the night I asked him if he wantedme to back off, I could have stood up for what I needed and said,
You know, you seem to be really busy and preoccupied, and I am not getting what I really need from this relationship. So I am going to back off for awhile. And if things get better for you in the future, let me know.
I had asked him for permission to give me what I needed! What? But the truth is that I didn’t want to let go because I didn’t want to lose out on the possibilities I had created in my head. The lesson here is that in romantic love, I have to be willing to risk losing someone or being abandoned by someone in order to avoid abandoning myself.
Not getting what I really need in a relationship vs. the emotional pain from being abandoned and loneliness. It sounds like an easy choice, but not always.
Of course I cannot go back. I can only go forward. Moving forward has been a challenge for me, but sharing this story with you has helped. As I move forward, I keep this statement in mind that I recently heard in an online seminar about breakups and heartbreak:
“If you thought this person was the best for you, your only hope is to commit yourself to a path of practice that delivers you to become the version of your [true] self [to the point] that you would no longer be interested in the relationship that you are losing…make the choice to begin living your life in alignment with your own deeper knowing and worth of the love that you’re supposed to have right now…this shattering is an opportunity to do things differently from now on (Thomas, 2012).”
So don’t just get over it. Move beyond it.
- Thomas, K.W. (2012). Art of Conscious Completion [Online Seminar].