It’s not you. It’s not them. It just is (or isn’t).

OK, so I’ve decided to keep the blog rolling for now.

I have heard from so many friends lately that are in challenging relationships, or are in the aftermath of failed relationships, that I wanted to share some words of, well, maybe “not-wisdom”. Maybe experience.

I hate to say it, but I’ve been in a lot of failed relationships. If you’re looking for how to get into a good relationship and stay there, find another blog. This is NOT the blog you were looking for.

obi-wan

But if you’re interested in what I’ve learned, or are looking for some commiseration, keep reading. I am by no means claiming to be an expert. Some of this is more intellectual knowledge than internalized, but we’re all getting there in our own time. Some of this is from Buddhist practice, some is from a book I’ve recently read called “Radical Acceptance” by Tara Brach, some from friends, and some is just from past experience. Much of it overlaps. You may be aware of these things already, but in my own experience, I find commonality with others to be helpful.

First and foremost: There is nothing wrong with you. The end of this relationship (or the relationship in general) has no bearing on your worth as a human being. It’s just the nature of human relationships. Repeat as needed.

Maybe you keep thinking of the good times you had together and minimizing the bad, and wondering what went wrong. Or maybe you’re thinking only of the bad, and wondering “What the h$$$ was I thinking?” Sometimes you think of both. That’s OK.

If they broke things off, you may be wondering why. You may never hear their answer of “why” and even if they tell you, it probably won’t make sense. If you ended the relationship, you might feel guilt even though you know deep down that it was the right choice. All of these things are OK.

You and this other person came together for a period of time, you learned from them and they learned from you. Maybe there were good things that happened between you. Maybe a lot of good things. Or maybe a lot of bad things. Maybe both. Yet for some reason or another, that run came to an end, as all things do eventually. Even the truest love birds are parted by death. The fact that you and this person are not together anymore has nothing to do with your worth as a human being. Like two puzzle pieces, you simply did not fit. Or you did for a while, but now your shapes have changed, and the match is gone. You learned what you needed to learn from this person and this particular lesson is over.

You may have feelings of loss, loneliness, and perhaps even a feeling of worthlessness.

Accept them. Meet them with friendliness. Telling yourself that you shouldn’t have these feelings will only feed them and make a stronger narrative around them.

As you come to see and accept the feelings there without creating that narrative, eventually, they get tired and go away. Honest. This will take a while, and will be a struggle to say the least. Be patient. Give yourself time and don’t be in a rush for acceptance. In the meantime, be gentle with yourself.

Imagine that all of your friends and loved ones are standing around you in a circle, cheering you on. Hopefully you have family and friends nearby that can do this in person, but if not, use your imagination. Try to talk to yourself as they would talk to you; not beating yourself up.

Eventually we find that there is so much more in life than these transient feelings. And the transient relationship.

And know, dear reader, that I’m cheering for you too.

Author: mettatsunami

In 2009 I was working full time in medicine, and living a life that was alienated from what I truly valued. While volunteering with a local hospice, I began to wonder: "What would I do differently if I had six months to live?". This began the impetus to change direction. While it has been a case of two steps forward, one step back in many ways, there has still been slow movement in the direction of a more authentic life. Since the pivotal decision to change direction, I have been a Buddhist nun, returned to lay life, changed Buddhist schools, returned to medicine part time, and then full time, quit again, traveled extensively, trained in yoga, spent time in several Buddhist monasteries, and am in the process of how to live according with Buddhist and yogic practice and values, and how to streamline this life into something worthwhile. In the Theravadan Buddhist practice, one of the daily reflections is "Has my practice born fruit with freedom or insight, so that at the end of my life, I need not feel ashamed when questioned by my spiritual companions?". That is my practice. My goal in this blog is to share the journey along the way.

15 thoughts on “It’s not you. It’s not them. It just is (or isn’t).”

  1. Thanks…… nice to hear from you and your perspective. And so it is……. probably 30 years since I’ve connected and/or found a soul mate. It just is….????????

    Gail

    >

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Gail. Maybe since you connect with so many through hosting you haven’t needed a romantic connection, or that you have a deep happiness being with yourself? I don’t know, my friend. I hope you have peace with what is, at least for now.

      Like

  2. I’m sure your thoughtful post is appreciated by many, most of which you will never hear from. Thanks for taking the time and risk to share your experiences and thoughts in cyberspace. Soldier on my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Tom. While I realize marriage isn’t always rainbows and unicorns, you and Sue are one of the handful of couples I know that still enjoy being in each other’s company after many years. It warms my heart!^)

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I got out of a blunder relationship recently (okay the ending lasted years). My first big failed relationship. Committed every mistake possible. It was a disaster. feel comforted reading this post

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m glad it could be a comfort. Sounds like a big (and painful) learning experience, and I hope you don’t beat yourself up over it. Take good care of my friend!^)

    Like

  5. I’m glad you’re continuing the blog. I figure — do it till it doesn’t feel right anymore, or till it no longer serves any purpose. As for relationships, as Ajahn Sumedho tells us, “It’s like this.” And now, and forever, I send you all good wishes for comfort and joy.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Reading this post today reaches me at a time of uncertainty during family relationships. It all relates and this is a beautiful one…thank you for your willingness to continue blogging. There are many here who read but may not respond. You are courageous in your searching, may you be at ease today and happy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Patty. I’m glad the blog has been helpful, and I hope the situation with your family works out. If you haven’t heard them, Ajahn Geoff has some really good talks in his archives at Dhammatalks.org. Look in November of 2011 and 1013 if you can – there are some really good ones in there. May you also be happy and at ease!^)

      Like

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