"Love yourself first, because that`s who you`ll spend the rest of your life with."
It is probably the most and polarized day of the year - no, not Christmas, but Valentine`s Day. Why do I think this? Because love is a such a big, mysterious, popular topic that love often sells. In movies, in books, in magazines, in social media, in society. And that`s why especially also on Valentine`s Day.
This post will be less about a single woman`s bitterness or advocating self-love first (although I do believe this :-)), but more about my personal reflections on my own romantic life, esp. about my last painful heartbreak that has turned my life upside down. I won`t go into too many details here given I have already dedicated a blog post on this, but more into my new reflections around this episode that have emerged after additional time has passed and inner work has taken place.
1. There is no timeline to heal from heartbreaks or break-ups, there is only your time.
This heartbreak took me about five years to really heal and let go. Of course, the on-and-off relationship was a major reason why it lingered so long as well as the fact that he was not able to face difficult and open conversations. So I had to deal with this topic on my own after him ghosting me, without an apology or any reactions to my own apologies and outreaches (I know all very bad signs). It also didn`t help when he suddenly contacted me a year later after our last interaction, which had ended in a fight on the middle of the street. I thought the chapter was closed and with him emerging out of nowhere naturally triggered again my thought process. Thanks to "Universal" support in the form of a friend back then, who reminded me to not let this guy, who had treated me badly, enter my life so easily as he wished, and a song by Britney Spears, that somehow kept coming on Spotify, "Don`t Go Knockin` on My Door", I could navigate through this challenge. It was as if the Universe wanted to test me, once I made my decision to let him go, to also make room for someone new, a real match. (As we exchanged emails, I told him everything, esp. about my values, boundaries, and feelings - understandably a potentially overwhelming message, to which he (of course) didn`t reply (again).)
What I have learned is that each of us is different, with different backgrounds, personality traits, non-negotiable values, and coping mechanisms, that you yourself decide how you want to deal with your topics. It is your life, so when friends, who just mean it well, tell you to date other guys, but you feel it is not the right thing to do yet, then that`s absolutely fine. Likewise, if you do think seeing other guys help you get over your past one, also feel free to do this, just know that every of our choices lead to certain results. So be aware whether you may unconsciously carry the pain or problems from one relationship to the next, if you haven`t given yourself time to feel, reflect, and learn from past chapters.
2. The more you love yourself, the more you have to let the past go.
What my heartbreak has definitely taught me was to love and honour myself. I had lost myself in my past relationship, always thinking of his needs instead of my own. And when he wouldn`t meet my own needs (as it was often the case), I would get furious, hurt, and disappointed. So I have learned that it was important to communicate our own needs, not only for the relationship, but also for one`s own wellbeing. You cannot assume the other person has the superpower to read your mind, esp. if you are evolving in every moment and are interpreting their actions or non-actions, too.
With increased self-love, I have learned to appreciate many sides of me, incl. my imperfections. I have learned to see my value and worth. I have grown a lot as a woman and human being, trusting the ever-present love around us. I have learned of my own big heart and love that I often give to others freely. I have learned that even though the guy had treated me in a way that not made me feel loved, nourished, and cherished (and maybe I have done the same to him, too), that there was one part of him that liked parts of me, too (meaning I was likable and not everything was wrong with me).
While I am still learning to not let rejections define me or take them personally (e.g. I can see this as a "Universal" gift to have learned with each other, while not being the real match for a spiritual partnership), I have learned that the more you see your own value, the more you have to let go of your past. When you increasingly see your worth, our ego may feel even more confirmed and demand that the other person now defintely has to see our value, too. But while we have evolved, maybe the other person still hasn´t and may never do. Whatever the other person may realize later or not is not the point here, and also something we cannot influence. Their reactions or realizations don`t define our value and happiness. As long as we see our own value and create an environment of people who share this view, too, (or even see more than we can see ourselves), we are on the journey that we are meant to be on. Otherwise, your ego may wait `til eternity until this person realizes their loss - do you yourself want to stand in between you and your own happiness?
3. Everything has been well - whatever will be, will be.
I don`t know how I have managed this, but I have been proud of myself of not letting society`s norms judge myself (although I do work on my limiting belief that I am unlovable). I never felt jealousy or resentments whenever I heard of my girl friends finding a new partner or getting engaged or making babies. With one couple, I even feel inspired and grateful to see and witness what is possible in romantic relationships. I know of one girl friend who once said, when the pandemic started, "I will turn 30 soon and still want to have fun, meet people, and find my husband!" Or another friend told me, "I thought I would be married by 30!" Or another friend (in a relationship) judged, "Dating during the pandemic must be difficult, right?" All this only comes back to our environment and who we are surrounded by. I don`t judge my friends, who have just shared their own experiences and views, to deal with this topic. However, it is up on us how we react to this and what perspectives we decide to take on.
Of course, I do have my thoughtful moments, where I wonder what could have been if I had acted differently in the past or what the future would bring. But I have soon realized that this analysis-paralysis doesn`t do me well or bring me any step further. I have grown up in an Asian household, and Asians` most asked question is on your relationship status, paired with pitiful looks the older you get (you marry and get children relatively early in Asia compared to the Western world). But somehow I have succeeded to never let these come close to me, maybe because I also have a great sense of independence and energy in me, that has wanted to grow and expand before I settle for a family life. Reading Gary Zukav`s book, "The Seat of the Soul", also has helped expand my view on life - that we meet people for our spiritual growth (irrespective of a good or bad outcome), that our choices (unconsciously or consciously) create the life that will serve our soul`s (and humanity`s) evolution, and that everything will unfold when the "stars are right" (i.e. people, circumstances, and our own capability level for everyone`s growth). This perspective invites us to let go of judgments of our past and worries of the future, and instead to trust the flow of life and the bigger picture of the Universe.
This may mean that I keep growing with self-love, until I am ready to let a person into my life, whom I will give so much love. This may mean that I can use my current free time to keep getting to know myself, my values, my needs, before I enter into a committed relationship. This may mean that I enjoy more resources for other life areas, that are likewise important for my life and wellbeing, such as purposeful work. This may mean to enjoy the present moment even more, without worrying, but trusting that the Universe is taking care of me. This may mean that I keep my eyes open, while expressing my authentic self. This may mean to let go of my (ego`s) expectations, and be open what life has to offer! :)
What are your reflections on Valentine`s Day? :) Let me know by sending an email to email@example.com – I very look forward to hearing from you! :) PS: Subscribe to my #mindfulmagic Newsletter to stay in touch for upcoming posts, free offers, and news :)
This week`s ...
Inspiration: Britney Spears - Anticipating Live from Las Vegas
Reflection: What have I been able to learn in my romantic life?
Intention: I let go of the past with gratitude, enjoy the present moment, and trust the Universe for what life has to offer me! :)