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Letting Go of the Best Thing you Ever Had
In my last post I talked about the Los Angeles mansion I’ve been staying at and how nice it has been. At the same time I have been staying here I have been doing deep work around my relationships.
In the last two years I have really done a deep-dive on my attachment style and trauma. Two years ago I was dating the safest person I’d ever dated. He was reliable, sweet, loving, and generous. He was stable, creative, and kind. He loved me and I loved him. But one weekend his brother visited and something shifted. He didn’t take my calls and he was distant. He assured me that it was just because his brother was in town, but something had shifted. After that things were never the same, and we grew slowly apart, him avoiding my texts and calls, until both frustrated, we broke up.
Of course there turned out to be “another woman.” Of course I felt deeply betrayed. Of course I released rough, screaming songs about wanting to burn his house down. I was betrayed. Again! This time, by the best partner I’d ever had. I would never be in love again. He was the best thing that I’d ever had. My life was certainly now over.
This was a pattern. The way I show up in relationships, the way they intensify, the way they end, and the way I am always betrayed is a pattern.
Once I recognized it as a pattern, I was able to start taking responsibility for everything. Once I started taking responsibility, I was able to change. I started cultivating new patterns and doing the grueling work of breaking out of the old ways of thinking and acting that weren’t serving me any more.
Again and again in my relationships, I lost the best thing I’d ever had and I was a victim. Because I felt like a victim, I didn’t take responsibility. Because I didn’t take responsibility, nothing changed. But this time, it hurt so bad. He was the safest, most reliable person I’d ever met, and even he betrayed me. My feelings of unworthiness spiraled to the point that I knew I needed professional help. That is when I joined Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous.
I’ve talked a lot about my experiences in S.L.A.A. on YouTube so I won’t bore the avid follower with the details, but suffice it to say that I started taking responsibility and I started shifting my habits. It was grueling, horrific work that left me with stomach ulcers and months of crying on the floor.
After I was celibate for a year, grounded, and relatively stable, I met a man from Kansas at a spiritual retreat. At first I didn’t notice him, but when our energies connected, I knew I loved him. Yes, that quickly. I felt insane, I felt like I was spiraling, like I was falling back into addictive patterns, but I couldn’t stop. Here was the new best thing I had ever found.
I told him about myself, about my desire to have a child, but how I was prevented by the difficulty from so many failed relationships and he confessed the same. By the second night, he was offering to get me pregnant right then and there. I was hooked. My preoccupied attachment jumped from my ex, right onto this stranger.
What followed was the most unusual relationship I’ve ever had. He went back to Kansas, I went back to Los Angeles. We were clearly in love, but he would hardly admit it. He was available, and then he wasn’t. Warm and inviting, and then cold and distant. Kind and tender, and then cruel and punishing. He’d pull me close, then push me away. Once he even described it as inviting me over, then pulling a trap door when I rang the doorbell.
I knew our love was real and true, but the whole situation confounded me. He refused to make any plans. He refused to come see me or allow me to see him. All the while, my soul would soar when we talked, and we talked for 4 or 5 hours every day. Our lifestyles, personality, humor, and spiritual gifts made us a perfect match. He understood me in ways no one had ever understood me and I understood him in the same way. We agreed on politics, on how children should be raised, and the futures we envisioned for ourselves looked eerily similar. Here was someone I could build UNICULT alongside with. Here was someone who could be a reliable father to my children. Here was someone I felt I could collaborate with for a lifetime. My attachment to these ideas kept me clinging to him for 9 long months.
Even though my attachment was inflexible, and I longed for him, I was no longer the same person I’d been with my ex. The time I’d spent in recovery changed my perception. Once you start seeing things differently, change is inevitable. I changed. I was now taking full responsibility.
He wasn’t just being an asshole - I was chasing an unavailable person. He wasn’t toying with my emotions - I was not giving him space when he (not so elegantly) requested it. So back and forth, using the tools of recovery, I prayed for my attachment to shift. In the past it has only ever jumped from one person to another, but I wondered if I could ever truly break it.
After a gnarly fight two months ago we stopped talking. He said he would call me when he was ready. Every day I wondered if today would be the day. I was living in two realities - one, where we have a future because he finally saw his blocks and worked through them so his energy body could be unified with what he truly wants, or two, where we forever go our separate ways because he really never cared for me or is incapable of integrating his two sides. I waited patiently, with a sad and breaking heart.
Meanwhile, I have been expanding. My finances are in a row, my confidence is high, and my summer calendar is filled with luxury opportunities of house sitting mansions and world travel. As my days house sitting come to a close, and I am preparing for my first ever trip to Europe, I felt the wound of this relationship, and how it was preventing me from expanding.
I feel ready to meet the love of my life. I feel ready to start a family. I feel ready to be with someone who is just as powerful and radical as I am. I feel ready to be met with the same unconditional and steady love that I also offer. How can I do all that with my attachment still lingering on someone who never treated me right at all?
So I reached out. That wasn’t our agreement, but I told him “You’re taking too long. It’s boring.” And when he called, 10 minutes was all it took for me to see clearly that he was still in his old pattern. That was just what I needed to finally break out of mine. In that conversation, I felt I lost so much respect for him. He’d had two months without me and it apparently had no impact on him. He hadn’t changed. Rather than kindness, all he had to offer was deprecation.
In my repulsion of him, I took responsibility and I became horrified at myself. Here was someone who had been clearly and distinctly telling me “no” but I’d only listened to the times he’d said “yes.” He showed me who he was and yet I wanted him to be someone different. I wanted him to change, and to be someone else. That isn’t love.
Love is listening. Love is respecting someone’s need for space whether they clearly or aggressively communicate it. Love is loving yourself enough to walk away from things that don’t fully serve you. Love is trusting that you are worthy for better and better to flow in.
So I let go. I let go of the best thing I’d ever found, maybe not in real life, but certainly in my fantasy. I let go and I opened myself up to something better, as unimaginable as that may be. And it worked! My attachment actually broke without jumping to another person. For the first time in my life I am truly FREE.
Though it’s a completely different scale, leaving this mansion that I’m house-sitting has a similar feeling. What if I never get to experience another lawn that is so perfect and green and flat? What if I never again swim in such a nice pool? What if I just got this glimpse of heaven, and now it’s being taken from me? What if I am doomed to live in the darkness of my past with no hope for my future?
Letting go is so terrifying, it feels like death, and in many ways, it is. In order to expand in relationships, in mood, in material reality, in spiritual energy, we have to be willing to not only let go, but to let a part of ourselves die. There is a part of ourselves that cannot continue to exist as we venture into the unknown. The part of ourselves that clings to certainty, the part of ourselves that manifests repeated patterns - that part has to go. It has to die, it has to be integrated, grieved, and transformed.
By stepping into the unknown, by breaking patterns, by walking away from toxic relationships, and by leaving opportunities that are no longer right for us, we open the door for even brighter abundance to flow in. The unknown is terrifying because it is full of more light than we have ever yet known.