I let him go.
I know too well what it’s like to be nursing a broken heart, thinking I’d do anything to get back with my former flame. I’ve thought of every tactic out there. Lonely months went by and I slimmed down to a ghostly version of my former, happy self.
I alienated my friends because the breakup was all I could talk about. “But he was The One!” I said to them, over and over.
My work performance suffered because I couldn’t stop the toxic spewing of negative crap from my mouth. I barely slept and became really destructive.
I told myself the myth that if he just came back to me, my whole life would be fixed.
Yeah. That didn’t happen.
Heart on fire, ashes everywhere
— there’s no return from a red like that.
MANUEL DE FREITAS
It took a long time to give up on him and realize that I was facing my life alone. But after so much misery and thinking I’d never be happy again, it dawned on me that the worst had already happened, and there was nothing else to lose.
Weirdly, there was a kind of freedom in that thought. It was a clean slate.
I realized I’d totally abandoned myself, and I decided to reclaim my life.
It was during an anti-gravity yoga class that I rocked in Savasana and saw C’s face float in front of my eyes. I looked at it for a long time and softly said “Goodbye.”
Not till we are lost, in other words not till we have lost the world, do we begin to find ourselves, and realize where we are and the infinite extent of our relations.
HENRY DAVID THOREAU
So I moved on. I did what they all tell you to do – I spent time with friends, I took up hobbies, I learned to enjoy taking up the whole bed as I slept alone. I spent mornings drinking coffee on my new balcony (instead of bemoaning that I’d had to get a new apartment by myself at age 31 when I thought I was going to be married by then). I exercised and cooked healthy foods for myself.
I tried things I would have never done before. I applied to speak at Beyond Luon. I learned to make kombucha. Eventually, I dated someone else. It took time, but I came back to life and reclaimed my life as my own.
And then, there he was.
After fully letting him go, finally accepting we were over, there he was. All the shit they said in the books was true. (Dammit.)
Because you know what really works, in breakups and with anything else you want desperately?
Being at peace with the fact that the way you planned out your life flat-out failed.
And then, you know what happens?
That thing you desperately wanted comes and lands on your shoulder with total ease, like a happy little bird.
(And if it doesn’t, it wasn’t yours to begin with.)
We cannot lose what really belongs to us, even if we throw it away. Therefore we need have no anxiety.
So let it go. Stop thinking if you lose the weight, dress sexier, text him/her at 2am, that’ll work out. You’re missing the entire point.
As much as you can’t believe it, that person doesn’t even matter. You can be happy with someone else, eventually. And you can be very happy alone.
You are the one who matters.
Let nothing stand in the way of the happiness available to you at this exact moment.
Then go live your life and be prepared to be amazed.
EDIT | January 13, 2015: As many of you know, C is no longer “my ex.” We reunited in April of 2013, got engaged that September, and were married in August, 2014. :)
I had no idea when I wrote this post that it would create such an outpouring of love and questions from you readers. I am amazed everyday by all of you who so bravely and vulnerably share your stories with me here.
The comments per day keep growing, and sometimes it’s hard for me to keep up!
Please know that while I may not be able to answer your specific comment in a timely fashion (I work full-time and am married!), that I still encourage you to share. Someone may read your comment and relate to you. It may create the healing that they need.
I am honored that this little corner on the internet has been able to provide some healing for you. And I’m sorry if I’m unable to answer your specific question. My first piece of advice is to read all the comments written back and forth before yours — you may find the answer you need in there.
I wish you quick and full healing.
I am so thankful to you. Love, Jen