by Barb Golub
Initially, my desire to write for this blog was a selfish one: to inhabit the blogosphere and get a wider readership with my tale of working through the healing process of divorce with grace and aplomb. My plan was to become some sort of spiritual poster girl for living a life of love, no matter how the Universe decided to mess with me. LOOK AT ME, I would shout, LOOK AT HOW LOVING I AM. I figured that my story could remind like-minded folks that, as they move from heartbreak to healing, they are not alone; that breakups are, perhaps the most universal occurrence in the world, and that moving through one could, in fact, create more space within our hearts.
Amid the tumult of my divorce, I have realized that it is not my relationship to my ex that requires healing, it is my relationship to myself. I know, I know, it is so obvious, and such a cliché. I have heard this approximately one million times from all sorts of sources (not the least of which are Oprah, all of my yoga teachers, my therapist and my best friends). It did not matter, though, because what I had missed or, ahem, avoided in all of those messages was the glaring fact that if I were to understand my relationship to another, I had to first understand, have compassion for, and heal my relationship with myself.
In spite of the chaos of the relationship, leaving it was not as easy as one might think. I was not ready to face failure, nor was I ready to admit that I had made a mistake in committing my life to this person. I am not one who fails and I am not one who makes mistakes. Again I say: HA. But, when I could no longer sit in silence without hearing my inner teacher tell me to GTFO, it was clear to me that I had to exit. It was also clear that walking away meant it was time to face some of the hard truths about myself, not the least of which is why I would ever call a relationship like that (not the first of its kind, mind you) into my life. And why I would stay. And why I thought I could not desire and receive more. And. And. And.
Once I left, I left. The further I walked away from that relationship with another, the closer I walked to the relationship with myself, that one that I had never really approached neither grace, nor aplomb. There it all was, staring me straight in my tear-stained face: I could walk away from someone else’s bullshit, but I could not walk away from mine. And that, dear readers, is why sticking around in a relationship that served zero percent of humanity was So. Much. Easier.
In the spirit of my love for lists, here is a heartbreak-super-special-love-yourself list of relationship dos and don’ts:
- Do understand that surrender is not the same as giving up.
- Don’t attach to the negative OR positive feelings that come with heartbreak. Both are finite.
- Do know that compromise and negotiation are not the same thing.
- Don’t think that love and crazy are the same, either.
- Do trust that your choice of partner is a reflection of how you hold yourself.
- Don’t be a jerk to you and neither will others.
Beyond supporting classroom teachers in Taipei, Taiwan, Barb teaches yoga and is enjoying the newbie ex-pat life. She loves eating chips from around the world, practicing her handstand on any given beach and is slowly learning the difference between exposure compensation and aperture priority. You can find more of Barb’s life at aumgirl.tumblr.com