Bittersweet Endings

It’s been over 3 weeks since my world was shaken and flipped upside-down. Speaking specifically about the ending of my relationship, I am finally able to open up about it without breaking down into tears which, oddly enough, brings me comfort knowing that a deep healing is taking place. Pain is merely the catalyst.

Make no mistake, there will be no mud-slinging in this post, no bitter blame game, no destruction of character by words, etc. No, this post is about growth. This is about gaining wisdom through personal experience. This is about approaching a deeper level of understanding when it comes to love, loss and the pain that comes along with it. This post is about me reclaiming my inner peace, surrendering to the divine flow and graciously letting go of what no longer nourishes my soul. This is my declaration that the war is over.

“When you’re willing to feel it, you can heal it,” is a quote that has never resonated with me quite as deeply as it does today. You see we are taught early on to run away from pain.  We mask it with makeup, dark shades and fake smiles; we drink until we can’t remember our own names, much less why we are suffering; or we find temporary comfort in the arms of another while closing our eyes and envisioning someone else. We will literally do anything in our power to avoid it and just hope that one day it will subside. What we fail to realize, is that by doing so we are merely burying a bomb beneath the soil of our hearts and waiting for someone new to step on the pressure plate.

Personally, I have found comfort in surrounding myself with the people that I love and in doing things to keep myself busy and my mind distracted. Seems innocent enough, but it is still an effort to avoid feeling pain; a coping mechanism if you will, much like those that I mentioned above. Yet, at the end of the day when all is quiet and still, chaos of thought consumes me and I am once again faced with the very agony I tried to ignore.

So it seems the only way through this is to allow myself to feel every single emotion and to stop running from them. I thought I learned that lesson already in other aspects of my healing journey, but as the spiral of life uncoils, here I am once again back to that particular curve to learn a deeper understanding of what I thought I knew. This is the beauty of inner reflection and keeping an open dialogue with your higher self. So here I am, open and raw, fresh wounds still bleeding, welcoming every ounce of pain, recalling every beautiful memory and every transgression that led me here, just trying to stitch my heart back together.

I often hear people say, “Love hurts.” But you know something? I have to disagree with that. Attachment hurts. Unrealistic expectations hurt. Rejection hurts. Conformity for the sake of “love” hurts and resistance to reality hurts, but true love in its purest form does everything except hurt.  Love heals. Love restores. Love replenishes. The real issue is that most of us are ignorant to what love really is, so we confuse it with attachment while having zero knowledge of the difference between the two.  This relationship taught me to distinguish those differences clearly.

You see, attachment is simply a strong bond, the string that connects us to something or someone we admire. When we are merely attached to someone, we are focused upon the ways in which that person can make us happy. In this type of relationship, we become heavily dependent upon our partner to meet our emotional needs. Instead of confronting our own demons, we expect our partners to battle them for us and fix our self-esteem issues.  We expect them to fill a void within. We hold them accountable for our happiness, which places impossible expectations upon them and sets the stage for failure when they cannot meet those expectations. Attachment is self-serving and cumbersome, the complete opposite of love.

While, attachment’s root is based on the fear of being alone, love is the freedom to explore, the freedom to grow. It is limitless and selfless, knowing no boundaries. Love is flexible and ever evolving in nature. It is a partnership that stimulates growth within one another so that each of you may become the best versions of yourself that you can be. It requires transparency and vulnerability. A mutual loving relationship allows us to be our authentic selves without the fear of exposing our weaknesses and having them used against us.

Love is the fertile soil upon which seeds may blossom into something beautiful when given the proper care. However, it requires the understanding that some blooms will flourish in the warmth of Spring only to wither in the chill of Winter, while others are evergreen; yet both require the same amount of sustenance. Love simply provides without expectation.

While I am certainly no relationship expert (my track record can attest to that), I have loved and lost enough to know now that it was never love that hurt me.  And while this relationship had a bittersweet ending, I am thankful for the experience and the lessons that it taught me.

We are creatures of habit and we crave consistency while fearing change. But sometimes that change is exactly what is needed for us to be happy.  So when things change and bring us pain, just remember that there can be no rainbow without a little rain.

Dena M. Daigle (C) 2018

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