One of the things I’m asked about most often is how to face the pain of a breakup. Recently I was speaking with a woman who wasn’t sure if she should attempt to rekindle her relationship with her husband who left her after she cheated on him 18 months ago. I agreed that she did seem to have genuinely undergone a change in consciousness since being without him, but I also added that I did not subscribe to the idea of shoulds in life.
What I basically said was; trust yourself. There is no right or wrong. There’s just what you do and what happens as a result. There’s no way to predict it. The universe is vast and most of its forces are invisible to each individual. Her only real option is to just relax into that flow by simply following her natural instincts.
Maybe he would be open to it. Maybe he would crush her in just the right way for her to be able to move on. Maybe she’d get back with him and later regret it. It could be any of those things. But that doesn’t matter because there’s been great stories told throughout history that feature all of those things. So you can still have an awesome life and have any of those things in it.
I voted only for her to act from a peaceful loving place in her heart and not a tortured anguished one. What she did after that didn’t matter; it’s the intention that counts because that’s the part that’s inside her. That’s her experience of the event.
I’m sorry to crush a lot of people’s idea of a soul mate, but I take a very broad view of the term. We are all One. We are capable of loving anyone. But all aspects of the universe take turns being all things at all times. So yes, some aspects of that experience are more familiar than others, but that’s not the same as closer. You can’t have closer when everything is One.
Our so-called soul mate is anyone who we can see without prejudice. We must look at them without judgment and without conditions. Then we can see their beauty, their significance and their connection to us.
We don’t have to get too worked up about which way these things go. Yes we’ll feel the drama at first—but that’s what makes love songs so poignant! We should like those experiences too! Maybe not enjoy them, but we should respect them as integral to our enjoyment of life overall. Your relationship with others should be warm, compassionate and supportive unless the relationship somehow offers some benefit that makes the sacrifice of those things worthwhile.
Of course the most important relationship is the one you have with yourself. You have to be humble. You have to be just as ready to fail as to succeed. Because the point isn’t what happens, it’s only that life moves forward. That is what it is to live—to experience life. We’re not supposed to get stuck analyzing things. We’re supposed to be, as a verb.
I know it hurts when people first split. It’s an awful, hollow, gut-wrenching feeling. But you were given that feeling for a reason. That’s the same one artists use to make you feel something beautiful in a book or movie or even a song. It’s not all bad. When you’re ready, use that pain as a motivator to shift your thinking to your future nows. Because you never know, the perfect person for who you are now might already be in your life.
The way out of unpleasant experiences is simply to move through them. Don’t fight what is. Don’t argue. Accept it as an important and ultimately desirable aspect of life. And then begin to shift your thinking to the potential of the present moment. Because that is always where you truly live.
Have a wonderfully aware day.
Scott McPherson is an Edmonton-based writer, public speaker, and mindfulness facilitator who works with individuals, companies and non-profit organizations locally and around the world.
A serious childhood brain injury lead Scott to spend his entire life meditating on the concepts of thought, consciousness, reality and identity. It made others as strange to him as he was to them. When he realized people were confused by their own over-thinking, Scott began teaching others to understand reality. He is currently CBC Radio Active’s Wellness Columnist, as well as a writer, speaker and mindfulness instructor based in Edmonton, AB where he still finds it strange to write about himself in the third person.