Loving someone that isn’t or can’t be part of your life has to be one of the hardest lessons out there to learn, whether it was a choice you made or not.
There’s no getting around it, there’s no quick fix to finding peace in the process and believe me, avoidance and denial won’t be a long-term solution, more of a quick fix with consequences. Our biggest challenge in heartbreak is to, often with help and support, sit in difficult feelings that arise. Our challenge is to dig deep and to listen to our emotions, to our pain and to let them communicate with us. To find our way through, we must let the pain show us the direction for healing and we must learn how to give and love ourselves more in the areas that are exposed.
So first and foremost, if you’re going through the motions of grief like I am, I am sending you so much love. If feelings are particularly difficult for you to navigate right now, read my 11 reasons you should never be embarrassed about going to counselling here.
After my Lessons I learnt about love from heartbreak blog post, I got lots of messages from you guys saying how helpful my honesty was and so I figured I’d write a little more. I’m going to speak from the heart in this one, right from the core of my heartbreak and so I guess, I hope there’s some more light in here for you. At least writing it, for me, is more healing in itself.
How to love someone and let go gracefully
Although I am sat here in the middle of the French Alps, living in my dream van conversion and pursuing a life in the great outdoors, my heart is still very much in the healing process. As I sit down to write this post, I have tears running down my face because the pain and heartbreak of my recent relationship ending are still very much alive within me, albeit showing their faces at much larger intervals than two months ago. Whilst I haven’t worked through the entirety of the pain I felt through my last relationship, I’ve come an incredible way.
Loving someone and loving their presence are different things entirely.
The biggest lesson I have learnt so far through the heartbreak I have experienced is that we can love someone and still not desire their presence in our life. It’s a painful lesson to learn because naturally when we love and care for someone, we want to pull them close. But when loving someone continually requires you to be less of yourself to keep the peace and yet you choose to stay, you must take a minute to think about what’s really keeping you there. I think this is the first step of letting go gracefully. Being honest with yourself about safe you felt in your relationship and how much of yourself you are holding back and compromising for the other.
If you’re craving love from someone who isn’t showing up for you, there’s a part of you waiting to be met and healed.
This was certainly the case for me. I knew the relationship wasn’t healthy but I had attachments that had me making all sorts of excuses to stay. On a deeper level, I had wounds that kept me there and only by starting my healing journey have I been able to release myself from them.
If you’re in a relationship that you know isn’t healthy, ask yourself this… What is keeping me in a relationship that doesn’t serve me? What’s holding me back from fulfilling my true potential? What would happen if I let them go?
Ultimately, we don’t need an ‘other’ to complete us. The voice that tells you you do, is an unmet wound speaking out to you and waiting to be healed.
Okay so I loved him but it was clear that we were on different journeys and our next chapter was to be spent apart. It was a mutual decision that was painful but no doubt the right one for each of us. That’s the clarity that has kept me going. Knowing that I was honouring my journey despite the pain. The only focus I have now is to take this time to heal all the shadows that were bought to the surface in the relationship. This is my opportunity to nourish all the unconscious beliefs that have come to light within me that weren’t serving me and that are beneath my attachments. I am so grateful for the light the relationship put on these areas alone.
I didn’t want to have to hate him to move forward.
It’s as if being ‘over it’ and ‘forgetting about it’ is the goal these days. It’s as if we have this pressure to not feel the love anymore and only then, have we completed heartbreak. Let me offer the idea to you that being at peace with love could be a healthier goal and that working through your attachment to a love that didn’t serve you is more rewarding work to focus on.
It has taken a while for sure but I’m now in a place (finally lol) where I can feel the love and keep moving forward with it. After a lot of tears and deep inner work, the love I hold for him doesn’t pull me into confusion and despair anymore (hallelujah). I can love him and separate his journey from being a reflection on me. I can trust that I did what I needed to do to look after myself and I can let go, gracefully.
How can you truly let go if you love them though?
Once you begin to work through the painful attachments that we often mix in with love, love isn’t painful anymore. You can hold feelings of love for them without needing or craving their presence in your life. Sometimes you have to let love go in order to honour yourself and your boundaries.
Stop trying to get over it.
Often when we separate from a partner, we are encouraged to ‘get over it’ to ‘move on’ and to ‘let it go’. But you simply cannot force the process. You cannot move on until you are ready. There’s no time limit on your healing process so we have to stop putting one on it. I think it’s really important to be careful that in this process of moving forward through heartbreak, we don’t push our feelings deep into our soul and just put a mask on because ‘its been a year’ or ‘its been five’. It will take however long it takes to move through heartbreak and we must be patient. If we push the pain down when it arises, it will just resurface.
For what we don’t repair, we repeat.
If you’re new to ego and awareness, welcome to your healing journey. I would highly recommend reading ‘A New Earth’ by Eckhart Tolle, he does the most wonderful job of teaching us about awareness and separation from our thoughts (the unconscious state the majority of the world lives in). Ultimately, awareness lies in the space between your thoughts. Awareness is who you are. Awareness is the observer within you. Your awareness and your thoughts are two separate entities and when you learn the difference, your whole life will change.
I honestly think one of the biggest challenges, when we face heartbreak, is our ego.
Avoidance is an egoic approach many will take when it comes to heartbreak. As the pain arises, it scares us and often we don’t understand it and so our ego jumps in to hate, blame and project onto the other. The ego would rather create a story that will have one victimise themself and blame the other for all they did wrong. In this process of blame, of projection and of pointing the finger, the ego feels powerful. The ego feels righteous and the ego ‘wins’. This is the ego’s favourite thing to do. The ego will do everything in its power to be separate from another. The ego doesn’t want to heal. The ego wants to protect, to build barriers and to avoid pain.
These ego coping mechanisms stop us from doing the real, lasting work. And where the ego wins, the soul is disconnected even more from love and from the source. Where the ego wins, one continues to live unconsciously in triggers and pain. If you truly want to move through heartbreak and heal the pain you feel, you must be brave. You must be curious as to where that pain originates and what it’s communicating with you.
Instead of blaming the other, we must take radical responsibility for our the pain we feel.
Is love the ultimate goal for you? I would hope the answer is yes. If love is the ultimate goal then we must keep choosing it, despite the pain. We must choose love over ego and we must practise living in our awareness every day. We must choose the more difficult, but most rewarding route out of heartbreak, which is to choose personal responsibility over blaming the other. We must move through heartbreak and opposed to getting over it and pushing it away. We must sit in those difficult feelings long enough that we understand why we feel them and we must completely own our feelings instead of projecting them onto another and blaming someone else for our pain.
Our pain is our responsibility.
As is our joy.
For when we eventually do the inner work and understand why we feel a certain way, we release ourselves from needing to feel it and we will find ourselves walking away from things that no longer serve us.
We must feel it to heal it, for the only way out of pain is through.
However, if we continue to build barriers with our ego around love, which feels like an ‘easier’ way to protect ourselves during heartbreak, we build resistance to letting new love in and we bury wounds that will ultimately resurface. We must instead work to keep our heart open and to stay in awareness.
Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it. – Rumi
Our challenge is to take radical responsibility during heartbreak and to see it as the greatest opportunity for personal evolution. We must be really honest about the ways in which we were triggered during the relationship and to spend time understanding those parts of ourselves more.
What part hurt the most? What did it make you feel? What did you do when you felt that way? Have you felt that way before? Was that a belief of yours or was it the pain of the other that caused that emotion? Is it yours to heal?
In heartbreak, we must avoid focusing on the healing of the other for ultimately we have no control over anyone journey but our own. In this process, we learn to separate what’s ours to carry and what’s theirs to carry. Our energies during heartbreak are best redirected into ourselves.
You can only hope that your partner takes the same responsibility.
Of course though, during heartbreak, we will fight with our ego. Thoughts like ‘but if they just did this’ or ‘if they just changed that’ then ‘we’d be happy’ may come along but we must remain conscious and not identify with the solution being outside of ourselves.
We cannot seek love through the change of another.
Love is and always was inside of us, really. Healthy love has the opportunity to blossom when we have met ourselves and when we don’t rely on the other for our happiness. Healthy love is mutual respect of personal boundaries and growth of two souls alongside each other.
If the relationship you find yourself in with another doesn’t accept you, validate your emotions and respect your journey exactly where you are, then it is not the love you deserve. Love isn’t about perfection or needy attachment, love is honesty, responsibility and acceptance.
Love and attachment are two different things that can indeed exist together but are often confused as one.
I guess what I’m saying here is that when a relationship ends, it’s important to trust that where there was conflict there were unmet wounds surfacing. And where there are wounds in two people, for a healthy relationship to occur both must first and foremost take individual responsibility to heal. This can, of course, happen together in a relationship but both people must commit to the work. Otherwise, love doesn’t have a safe home to reside in.
We can let go of painful attachments when we take responsibility for our own wounds that keep us there.
Don’t get me wrong though, learning how to walk away from someone you love is hard, it’s really fucking hard.
Loving another soul and caring about their existence so purely is the most beautiful feeling in the world, one I will do almost anything to fight for. But the bottom line must be drawn when it comes at the cost of your well-being. Repeat.
Love cannot come at the cost of you. Love cannot excuse someone refusing to do their work and hurting you in the process.
Sometimes, I have now learnt, we find love but it must be sent from a distance. Sometimes we love and our souls aren’t ready for each other. Sometimes we must walk away to honour our own journey.
I’ve personally come to accept that a corner of my heart will always be for him but I’m no longer under the illusion that he is the only person I will feel love for in my lifetime. Truly, there is no limit to the love we can hold and feel, so long as we open our hearts to it. I truly care about him and his happiness and I have learnt to not have to have that love reciprocated for it to be real for me. The pain of his physical presence not being in my life doesn’t consume me anymore and honestly, I could never hate or regret a love that ultimately guided me to my healing.
I can love him but let him go gracefully.
If you’re feeling heartbreak right now, I feel you.
Will healing take time? Yes.
Will it get easier? Yes.
Will it be worth it? Yes.
Will you feel love again? Yes
That I can guarantee. Just promise me you’ll keep that heart of yours open with me. Keep honesty and love at the core of everything you do but keep those boundaries in place. Keep being curious about your emotions and keep digging to get to know yourself better and unpeel the layers of your beliefs.
Know the love you are willing to give and the love you are willing to accept.
I’m sending you the strength and the courage to face all that you are in order to love and accept exactly where you are on your journey.
Remember, two souls destined to align will always align, that’s the inevitability of the universe. The inevitability of laws of attraction and energetic frequency. It may even be that the soul you have had to step away from reenters your life at some point but if that is destined to happen, it just will. You don’t need to worry about it or force it. Healthy love will not ask you to compromise yourself. The only thing you need to focus on right now is your own frequency and not compromising it for the sake of another, even if you love them.
Do all it takes to grow, to learn, to love and I promise you will find that sweet spot and someone will be stood there with you.
Have you had to let someone you love go?
I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Love as always and happy adventuring,
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I can’t do this without you.
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