Around this time last year I was dumped.
Over the phone.
By text message.
I felt heartbroken. Devastated. Torn.
I thought he was “The One”. The One that would mean I could forever end the awkwardness that came along with first dates, first kisses, and first sex, fumbling around trying to learn one another’s bodies.
So naturally, what did I do? Anything and everything to prove to this man that I WAS, in fact, not only an amazing person but could be an even better girlfriend, going through all the motions of what I thought a good partner did… cooking, words of appraisal, and sexy lingerie.
The harder I fought to stay in his life, the further he drifted, abandoning me to mend my own broken heart.
Or so I thought…
The truth is that he dumped me. The illusion is that he abandoned me.
So how, I wondered, did I feel so abandoned if all he had done was end the relationship with me, involving no harsh words, betrayal, or accusations? Just simple communication about how he felt, that there was no romantic connection.
The deeper I felt into this tug-of-war being played between truth and illusion, the clearer my sight became, piece by piece revealing the reality of what I was actually feeling…
I abandoned me. I walked away from myself. I said NO to who I was in pursuit of who I thought I should be. Of who I thought “good” girlfriends were. I sold myself out, looking for my partner to bring forth within me all the parts of me that I myself had chosen to bury away.
How could a person fall in love with the corners of my soul that I didn’t show them?
I set out on a mission to reclaim all of my deepest desires that I had kept at bay, the roaring lion within me pacing to be uncaged. My heart aching to be loved. My emotions longing to be cherished. My vulnerability begging to be kept safe. My body thirsting to be ravished.
I craved deep sexual intimacy, so I got intimate with myself. I wanted to be heard, so I started paying attention to what my soul was whispering to me. I wanted my body to be loved despite its imperfections, so every morning I looked in the mirror and thanked the flesh vehicle that houses my soul. I wanted connection so I started sitting in meditation to reunite with that part of myself that I had left behind. I longed for a feeling of safety and support, so I started asking people in my life when I needed help. I wanted to be able to relax and be vulnerable in the presence of a man, so I hired a male masseuse. I wanted my feelings to be cherished, so every day I sat with a journal and allowed myself to freely explore my emotions, every tear and fit of laughter bubbling over.
I turned inward to reclaim all the parts of myself that I had left behind in the expectation of someone else fulfilling them. Walking forward, I had an inner knowing that the relationship had fulfilled its exact reason for existing. It was complete.
In the end I was dumped by a man I thought I loved, but the actual pain came from abandoning myself. And that is the deepest pain there is. That is the only pain there is. The silver lining behind that pain, behind ANY pain, is that it’s the place where the healing can occur if you choose. If you make the effort to look where you haven’t yet looked before.
What a beautiful thing, that the initial felling of heart break and betrayal, can be the exact catalyst that leads you right back to yourself, to heal the hidden gems within your soul. A place to reunite with the feelings whose absence you felt. A place to understand that these feelings are generated from the inside out and thus, the coming and going of any person in your life doesn’t need to affect them.
I sit here now with an overwhelming feeling of thanks and gratitude that I was able to return home to myself. That I was able to claim again all the pieces of myself that I had forgotten about, that I had neglected. What a gift. Silently, I thank this man for honoring his truth and in turn, unknowingly, teaching me to honor mine.
While I may be dumped again, I’ll never be abandoned.
And THAT is the greatest gift.