“Ever has it been that love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation.” — Kahlil Gibran
Imagine the loss. You’ve been there haven’t you?
The Earth stopped spinning.
The Sun will never again rise in the east.
The nights are grueling, longer then they ever seemed to be.
You’ve been cut open, wounded and left vulnerable to the winds of change and uncertainty.
You’ve lost your wife, your lover. The one person who fills your cup and makes this world a little more habitable.
Kahlil Gibran illuminates the discomfort of losing love in his famous quote from “The Prophet.”
For me personally it highlighted something I was completely unaware of in the midst of my relationship.
I have spent ten months without the love of my life and my family. In this time I grew as a person more than at any time in my life. I decided in these 300 days that I was going to figure out what it takes to be better at love. May be for someone else. So that I could tell from the mistakes that usually couples commit in a relationship.
I read, I sought out those who had been down the road of love. I talked to therapists, I went to those who knew more then I did.
Here is what I learned.
1. Appreciation prevents Separation
The best place to start is right where you are. The two of you are on your own journey. What makes you unique and beautiful is what separates you from all other couples. You, together, have a recipe no one else has. Live in that space. Appreciate what exists between you.
For me comparison was a barometer of where I felt I fit into my partners life.
The problem with comparing is when you compare yourself to others (or your relationship to others) you lose every time.
Read that again.
Comparing your relationship on any level; the cadence of sex or fighting, money or how you spend it — or lack thereof, where you eat or what you eat is a bottomless pit of shame.
We’re already told enough in our world how we’re inadequate and “less than.” You don’t need to bring that into what’s suppose to be a safe haven.
Love the station of where your relationship exists. Embrace it for all that is unique about it. Don’t look to other relationships as a barometer for success in your own.
2. A Change Gonna Come
New love is fun! Mature love is stable. And sometimes stable isn’t so fun.
Accept that and you’ll be just fine. Fight it and you’ll be swiping left again soon enough. Trust me.
Relationships are pendulous in nature. Change is the only constant in life and it will exact itself on your relationship.
Open your sail to the winds of change and let them guide you to a new way of living.
Realize that this thing you’re in will mature and become about respect and admiration. Love will be a thing you do, not feel.
3. Go with Gratitude
Go back to that feeling of loss for a moment that I spoke of.
Go ahead, think about what life would be like without them…
Think about the things that make this person so special to you.
What if they were gone tomorrow — for any reason….
So start with gratitude first. Be grateful for the fact that this person is in your life. Be grateful that they chose you. Of all the people they could have been with, they chose to share life with you. You only get one life and this human being cares for you. In a world that urges separation and isolation with technology? You found a person who wants to instead, meet you at the crossroads of love and leisure.
Stop thinking about what’s not happening in your relationship.
Stop focusing on the missing links.
Start focusing on what you have right here right now.
“Gratitude turns what we have into enough.”
4. Choose Your Own Adventure
Autonomy breeds interdependence.
Heteronomy breeds codependence.
Heteronomy refers to influence by a force outside oneself.
We’ve all done this in our lives. We get into a relationship and suddenly it overtakes us and hijacks our time and passions.
Learning not to do this isn’t the point here — though of course being independent is healthy. The point is you are most attractive to someone else when you are living your passions.
When you perform your passion, you are living your truth.
Another reason this is so vital in a healthy relationship is it creates space. Space is the equalizer between emotion and evolution of self.
“But let there be spaces in your togetherness. Fill each others cup but drink not from the same cup. Give your hearts but not into each others keeping, for only the hand of life can hold your heart.” — Khalil Gibran
5. Don’t Look Back at Your Wake
You can’t change what’s already happened in your life or your partners.
The purpose of any relationship up to this point has been to help you both grow into the people you are today. You learned what works for you and what doesn’t.
The people who appeared in your life in the past were shepherds. They helped guide your way across the landscape of your love life. Thank them for their guidance and then bless and release them.
Don’t spend much time in looking back at your wake.
Looking back only serves as a distraction from the present.
6. Live in Childlike Fascination
Make a conscious choice to see something positive about your partner as often as possible. Take in the wonder of who they are and what makes them unique.
When I say something positive or unique, it doesn’t have to be something incredible either. Maybe it’s a flaw? Flaws are fabulous and unique.
In the aftermath of my breakup I found myself appreciating the weirdest things about my partner. I missed those weird things.
She left the curtains open in our bedroom which drove me nuts. But in the end I actually missed having them open. Why? It was unique to her.
Taking someone for granted starts with not appreciating the little things that make them special. Even things like leaving the curtains open. When it’s gone, believe me, you’ll miss it.
7. Attention without feeling… is only a report.
An openness — an empathy — was necessary if the attention was to matter. — Mary Oliver
How often do you really listen with empathy to the person you love?
Empathy in this context means to listen with feeling, emotion and full attention — openness as Mary Oliver says.
If you are not listening to your partner when they talk or share something? You are simply a reporter. Witnessing the act of talking and showing little emotion.
Be better, be present.
8. The Tightest Grasp is an Open Fist
Let someone roam their own world and love them for it. Let them hunt the trail of curiosity and explore who they are. Do nothing more then encourage it. That is the definition of real love.
You want the person you walk through life with to be the best they can be. The more they understand their own interior the more they have to offer you. If they explore their own path they are able to requite love and foster its growth. They’re also able to offer you the best roadmap of themselves and how to love them.
Remember, the higher you function as a human being the more centered you live your life. The more centered you are the better the partner you make and the more you have to offer.
9. Appreciate the Transient Nature of Love
Understand that your relationship has an undertow of emotions that aren’t visible to the eye. That both of you possess this internal river of feelings in which your love is but a tributary. Understand that life is the main channel and it dictates the flow of love into your delta.
Life acts upon us to an extent and changes the availability we have for love.
Accept that sometimes one of you will be better at your journey together then the other. Realize that there will be times when one of you will carry the relationship. There will be an ebb and flow of love between you over time which is normal and healthy.
If you struggle with this sentiment, I leave you with this….
A story of great love and lifelong partnership isn’t written on the lines, it’s based on what happens between them.
10. Variety is the Spice of Love
Couples that try together thrive together.
It’s a fact that the happiest couples never stop dating one another. They never stop trying new activities.
If you want to keep the love strong in your relationship, you need to explore life together. When you try something new together it prevents you from getting stuck in a “relationship rut.”
Going out gives you a chance to see your partner in a different light. Try things you have never done before. This builds excitement around what could happen. Don’t get wrapped up in whether or not you’ll like it. Chances are you will have a great time if you dive in with an open mind.
11. Pick up a Pen Every Now and Then
It doesn’t matter how you say, it just matters that you said it.
In our busy lives we often forget the most basic of communications and the power they wield.
A text to say “How’s your day” or “I really do love you so much” goes so far but those little words get lost in the daily grind.
So today, set 1 minute aside and write an email, text or fill out a card and tell the person in your life how much they mean to you.
12. Understanding How to Say It…Is Everything
It’s true communication is the cornerstone of a relationship. But what the experts don’t tell you is that communication without understanding is a rudderless ship.
My partner and I spoke different languages when it came to communicating(not literally). Take it from me this can wreak havoc on your relationship. It led to plenty of disruptive arguments that were a waste of time until we had figured out “how” to talk to one another.
You must learn to communicate effectively in a way that your partner understands.
Ask your partner how they need you to talk to them. Start there. Some people are more sensitive then others; respect that. Some read intonation of voice different then others. Some need to talk then leave and process. Some people enjoy a good argument. Others cower from confrontation. Figure this out early on if you can.
It will allow you to be constructive when you communicate.
13. Develop Romantic Amnesia
Fighting is inevitable in a relationship.
Whatever fights you might have had? You need to lay them down and put them to sleep. Ambushing someone with what occurred in the past is not an act of love. It’s an act of selfishness born out of your injured ego. Once something has occurred it is over. It is part of the wake you leave behind you. Holding it over someone’s head isn’t a position of power either. It’s a position of weakness. And you are better than that.
So develop what I like to call Romantic Amnesia. Let whatever fight that has lingered… Whatever ill feelings have been gotten… Whatever travesty has befallen you — GO.
Learn to forgive. Learn to forget. Choose acceptance over being right.
14. Couples that Goal Together…
One of the keys to growing closer is accomplishing things as a team. This is how humans innately bond, by doing something as a group, team or couple.
Couples who set goals together, grow together.
After all, goals are the glue of our existence. Without goals, you’re just a wayward ship without a sail. Goals harness the winds of life and fill your sails, giving you direction to new places.
Also when you share a goal together, one of you will keep the other on track. It will be a rare occasion when you both don’t feel like doing something.
So set goals with your partner and watch not only what you achieve in life but also in love.
15. Stop Drop and Learn
I have news for you.
You weren’t born to love anyone. So forget those fluffy quotes you see on IG with clouds and puppies telling you someone was born to love you. No.
You have to learn to love someone. In turn they have to learn to love you.
Learn to listen to them.
Learn how to fight with them.
Learn how to make them happy.
Learn their love language(s).
So stop waiting for someone you think was built to love you. Drop that story in your head because it’s false. Learn to love someone through patience and bonding.
16. Vulnerability Builds Compatibility
Nothing is more scary then opening up to someone. But one of you will have to cross that line and take a chance.
What I learned was this actually became one of the most solid ways to build compatibility with my partner. Why? When I opened up, she opened up. When I shared a story, she shared a story. We released fears, insecurities, doubts, stories, wants and needs.
Being vulnerable is the most sincere expression of love a human being can show another.
When you are being vulnerable you are saying “I trust you.” You are handing over the roadmap to your interior. You are showing them the geography of you.
If you have this with someone, celebrate it.
17. Do Lip Service to yer…Lip Service
Speaking of vulnerability….
Sex is the epitome of vulnerability. Sex should be fun and come with a side of laughter and playfulness. Sometimes you’ll be a porn star, a marathon runner and yet other times you’ll resemble a drunk baby seal.
The point is sex is about being together and being one, it’s not about your performance. It’s about sharing love and bonding. It develops your bond and expands your heart.
It’s about two beautiful human beings thinking enough of one another to share their insecurities and vulnerabilities at the same time.
Don’t be afraid to talk about sex. Be open to discuss it all with the person you’re with. Be accepting of who they are and where they’ve been.
18. You Don’t Have to be Ranvir Singh or Deepika Padukone
It’s not about your clothes.
It’s not about your car, your belongings or your career.
It’s not about who you might become.
And it’s certainly not about how you look.
As you are today, right now, you are perfect for someone.
You should be loved for your mishaps and celebrated for your flaws. Remember that. This is what makes you unique and one-of-a-kind.
I always drove myself nuts trying to be perfect. Find that person for yourself. And if you have someone make sure they love you for all that you are. Not what you could be. And remember….
Love is free of any judgement.
Newton’s First Law and Your Future
Newton’s first law says that an object at rest will stay right where it is unless something acts on it.
Do you think this applies to your relationship too?
If you do nothing, nothing will happen, you’ll be stuck.
But, if you start to act using any of the lessons outlined above, you are acting on the object (your relationship). I can tell you because I have made a lot of mistakes and I have learned from them.
Physics then takes over and will move your relationship in another direction.
Remember to be present and take notice of the small victories that you achieve along the way. Build on each little victory and I promise you’ll have a happier, healthier, more symbiotic relationship in a very short time. Hope you find your love! And don’t forget to pray for me! 😇
When a relationship is over, let go and move on in a healthy way to attract the right one for you.
“Have faith that true love is meant to be and one day love will come shining through. No matter how sad your heart is, the love that you wish for will come true…if you believe.”
When a relationship is over, it’s time to let go. Holding on to a past love clutters up your heart and mind. Letting go opens up the space and possibilities to attract the partner of your dreams. Try these things to stop dwelling on the relationship you had with your ex.
14 things to stop doing now:
- Listening tolove songs that remind you of him
- Going to places where you spent time together
- Thinking about the good times you had together
- Communicating with her (erase her phone number, email address, texts, etc.)
- Being Friends with Benefits
- Wishing and hoping that she’ll come back to you
- Being in denial that it’s over
- Looking at her pictures, cards, love letters and her Facebook page
- Staying in contact with her friends and family
- Talking continually about her with your friends, family and anyone who will listen
- Trying to run into her in bars and nightclubs
- Looking for her on online dating sites
- Trying to make her jealous by flirting with or connecting with her female friends
- Letting yourself get rundown (i.e. over-eating, not exercising, etc.)
In addition to stopping the above things, the following practices will help you transition and move forward with more ease and grace.
14 things to start doing now:
- Find yourhappiness from within
- Be grateful for the wonderful things in your life
- Find your passions and focus on them
- Get healthy from the inside out
- Focus on the present moment and know that all is well
- Connect and spend time with your family and friends
- Enjoy hobbies and activities that you’ve been meaning to do
- Do things to refresh, renew and soothe your soul
- Exercise and workout
- Listen to uplifting music
- Keep a journal
- Read positive books
- Create a bucket list and start doing things on your list
- Apply lessons (what you’ve learned) from your past relationships to create your ideal love life
Be patient and gentle with yourself during this time. It takes courage to move forward and becomes easier once you start. Try a few of the stops and starts. As you become comfortable with them, take on additional ones. All the best!
The second time you fall in love with someone, you’re going to feel so relieved. When you get your heart broken for the first time, you can’t imagine loving someone else again or having someone else love you. You worry about your ex finding love before you do, you worry about being damaged goods. And then it happens. Someone else loves you and you can sleep well at night.
The second time you fall in love with someone, it’s going to feel different. The first time felt like a dream almost. You were untouched, untainted by anyone. You accepted love with wide open arms and desperation. “Love me, love me, love me!” So you did. And then it fell apart and left you shocked to the core. You realized that people could be cruel and break your heart. You realized that people could stop meaning the sweet things they said to you just yesterday. So when you go into it again, you’re going to keep in mind everything that you’ve learned. You’re going to say, “Love me, love me, love me…until you don’t. In which case, I would like some advance warning. Thanks!”
The second time you fall in love with someone, you’re going to compare it to your first love. That’s okay. That’s natural. You’re going to be studying the new love with judgment and wariness. “My ex never liked biryani. Why the hell does this one eat so much biryani?!” Discovering that you have the ability to love multiple people who are different and feel different is initially very jarring. Loving an unfamiliar body will leave you disoriented and in dire need of a map. That’s okay too. That’s to be expected. Just ask the new love for directions.
The second time you fall in love with someone, you’re going to suffer from a bout of amnesia. You’re going to poke and prod at your lover’s body and be like, “Wait, how do I do this again? How do I love you? I think it starts with us having a moment together in some coffee shop, right?” It’s going to feel scary at first. Falling in love is sort of like riding a bike though. You never really forget.
The second time you fall in love with someone, you’ll be a more sane person. Your first love is when you get all of your insanity out. You behave like an insane monster because your mind is freaking out about all these new powerful feelings. By the second time, however, you have an idea of what works and what doesn’t. It’s by no means perfect. The insanity will make a cameo at some point. “Peek a boo. I’m here! Hope you didn’t forget about me!” But you can usually shoo it away after awhile.
The second time you fall in love with someone, you will hopefully have better sex. Do not quote me on this.
The second time you fall in love with someone will still be exciting and you might even talk about moving in together or marriage. It will feel more “adult.” You have no idea what adult love actually is but you think it involves making coffee for each other in the morning and maybe even getting a dog. “This is my dog, Passion. I got him with the second person I fell in love with because that’s what you do! The first person I was in love with would’ve killed a dog.”
Fall in love with someone who chooses you just as confidently as you choose them. Commit to the person who lifts you up whenever things get rough, the person who fights to make things work when the reality of life gets difficult and discouraging.
Fall in love with someone who sees the wars within you and not only chooses to stay, but chooses to stand by your side and help you fight them. Strive to find someone who cradles your dark, who embraces your light, someone who always wants to be your best when you yourself are not your best; someone who reminds you of every strong thing you are whenever you feel feeble.
Fall in love with someone who does not make you feel like you are hard to love. Give your heart to someone who does not call you weak for feeling so deeply, someone who adores the soft creature you are, and who fights to protect it in a hardened world.
Fall in love with someone who challenges you, who inspires you to think and feel. Fall in love with someone who ignites a wildness within you; someone who grows your mind just as much as they grow your heart.
Fall in love with someone who respects you for changing because they understand that it means you’re growing. Dedicate yourself to the person who stands in awe of how you bloom, how you flourish; someone who loves you not only for who you are, but for who you have the potential to be.
Please, do not ever settle for less. Keep waiting. Keep learning about yourself, keep trying and fighting for the heart within your chest. Keep growing and nourishing your wants, keep discovering your needs. When the time is right, you are going to fall in love with someone who will appreciate everything you stand for, who will compliment you in ways you never imagined. When the time is right, the love you have always been worthy of will flower within your life, and you will finally, finally, understand why you had to wait so long.
The second time will not be the first time. The first time is an insane magical life gift that you can never reclaim. But that’s okay. The second time is more real anyway. The second time can involve some amazing love.
Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? Yes, many times life is not easy. And yet it is precisely because of the difficulties that you’re able to make life great. We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. I have been e-mailing a lot lately with a dear friend that I have met on Facebook. Both he and I lost someone that was close to us a few years ago. And though the causes of the loss were different, we both have to deal with the pain it inflicts on us.
I wanted to quote a part of an e-mail I have recently sent to my friend. And I guess my friend won’t mind me using these phrases here as well, seeing they can have meaning to all who read this post. Or maybe just stumble upon this post by “mistake”.
Quotation of a part of my e-mail:
Yes it is strange that someone you have recently seen, someone who had all the intention of living a good as possible life, can so easily slip away. Either by own choice or by illness. When you close your eyes it’s so easy to recall the last time you saw him/her, you chatted together about things that seemed so normal and now they are suddenly more important. I have thought about this all quite often, every time someone I cared for slipped away, and I always end up both sad and grateful. Sad for the loss and grateful that I had the opportunity of knowing this wonderful person. Even though I would want to have had that pleasure for many more years, that option sadly wasn’t mine to choose.
I really have thought about this a lot. I have lost several people that were close to me. Last night, I ended up counting them, because my aunt told me that the cremation of our family friend this Thursday would be the second one she’s ever been to. She is fortunate enough to never have been to a funeral, only to the two cremations she mentioned. I have been to many of them, when I was done counting I ended on the count of 9. So tomorrow will be my tenth. And it never gets easier, you never get used to losing someone so definitely.
When you have a row with someone, it can be about just a simple, minor thing. If the person you had that row with means a whole lot to you, I would advise you to try and make it up. I have lost someone who meant the world to me at age 23 (I was 23 at the time) and the last spoken words had not been to kind. I still regret that those were my final words I had exchanged with that person. I never thought I would not get the chance to make it right. It only shows how fragile human life really is.
It also shows how often we take people for granted. You never really believe that they will leave you unexpectedly. Because you somehow have a connection to them. You feel secure around them. When the person you know is neither ill nor old, you just assume that you will have plenty of time to spend together with him/her. You don’t think about the consequences, about that you would do if that person slips away totally unexpectedly. It would be very horrid as well if the only thing that would keep your mind working would be the thoughts of losing someone you care about.
But maybe, a little maybe, those thoughts would help you to appreciate them more. If, at times, you would stand still and think about a dear friend. You remember meeting him/her. You remember stuff you have been through together, the good times and the bad times, and how you dealt with it. Not alone, but together. If you then think the morbid thoughts on what would happen if that friendship would cease to exist. What would you lose? What would you miss most? The things that pop up first are the ones that, in my opinion, define your friendship best. And to focus on those things might make you appreciate it all more than you have ever done before. And maybe, if you are feeling down, you could grab your journal and just write all that comes to mind about your friend and the friendship the both of you share. All these positive things might come in handy when you feel bad about yourself. Just re-read all you wrote about your dear friends and keep in mind, that they also value you as their friend. Maybe on different points from their point of view, but still, your friendship means a lot to both of you. Otherwise you wouldn’t be friends. Otherwise the friendship wouldn’t feel so right.
So I know what I will do soon. I will burn some incense, inhale it deep and find myself more relaxed, grab my journal and sit down and write. Write all I can come up with about my friends. About the friendships I have and what they mean to me. And maybe try to see in me what they see in me as well. And just keep on writing as long as my fountain pen is willing to support me and as long as my hand is not cramping up. I have my new journal lying ready as it is, so I don’t need to worry about running out of paper.
I need to get ready for the doctor’s appointment, the business meeting and well, all other things that will happen today.