So, the other thing, about break ups, is that they are supposed to follow a particular script. I used to enjoy said script - you know the one. The one where you sit around, with your friends, and indulge in all the anger, and the name calling. Because anyone who would break up with you, is obviously a bad person. right?
Well, not exactly. Most of the time, things end, not because someone is bad, and the other is good. Romantic relationships, like any other type of relationship, involve the interaction of two people, two souls, two sets of desires, hopes and dreams. When those souls and dreams are travelling in the same direction we find that it works. When they aren't, things work a lot less. And if you are someone who has this basic understanding about life and love, then the script, of the "he's such a fool, how could he not see how awesome you are" feels a little false. But, you can't particularly explain why this feels false, because you're SUPPOSED to be angry. You're not supposed to want to talk to the other person. Right?
My therapist in his infinite wisdom, taught me two things. one of which is really relevant in break ups, if you happen to be someone who doesn't particularly want to spend any time feeling angry. He said: "Do whatever you need to do to feel happy, as long as it's not hurting you or hurting anyone else". What does that mean for us? it means that you have licence to do what you need to do, to set your heart right. If you don't want to rant about what a 'jerk' so and so was, don't. If you need to eat a pound of chocolate, O.K. I remembered this conversation recently, and was so grateful for that particular pearl of wisdom and the license it gave me to look at the relics of my latest love in a whole new light (and of course, to eat chocolate). And by doing so, I have managed to pull from it only joy and inspiration.
It turns out, that everything I received from my last relationship, was mostly awesome. I read a passage from Lewis Hyde's 'The Gift' today, and he says this:
" Who among us has been sufficiently loved, whose heart has been fully realized in the returning gaze of the beloved?"
I would venture to say, that if we all paused long enough, we'd find memories of these moments from each of our relationships. Moments where you felt that your heart, and all that was in it, was fully realized by the person standing in front of you. I, had more of those moments than I can count (one of those which i captured via a poem, which follows below). And I think, that if we paused when things ended and spent at least some of our energies on a search for those moments, instead of fulfilling the the typical break up script, we'd heal a lot quicker. And there's not a damn thing wrong with that.
Light pours in through a window, plays with flecks of dust that spin round the room
I am awake.
Have I slept? how could it be,
for I have not moved an inch, and night time always finds me wanting – reaching arms and legs, splayed across sheets, tangled and fighting with dreams and stories from my mind’s eye that linger, dancing on my lips, sometimes on my fingertips
yet this morning, it is still,
I am still,
and I awake to find myself tangled in man, woman, and memory
I dare not move, dare not wake you, dare not shake this moment into reality,
I dare not breathe,
but continue, as I notice the rhythm and music made as my exhalations bleed into yours.
Who is this man? who looks at me with eyes that speak in tongues I do not recognize, that I am scared to recognize.
eyes that say everything without word
who owns these arms? that hold me to a beating chest, that create a warmth that melts into my skin, that marvel at the feel of me
I dare not wake him. I dare not wake myself, for I cannot be awake, and I would love to stay here, in what must surely be a dream.
Have I slept?
It is morning.
light dances through a window-
our eyes meet- your lips smile, my soul is still.
I have slept. And with the morning, everything is new.