How A Breakup With My Long-Term Lover Cracked My Heart Open.
I feel deeply like a woman. I feel this to the core of my being, in my bones, more than ever before, even more than yesterday.
I’m scooping out the nectar of life, nourishing on its juice, and then licking the plate. I’m living my life full-out, playing all 88 keys.
On this journey of living from my feminine being, I have become keenly aware of my internal power. I know for certain that I choose my circumstances, choose my reactions and create my life.
So when my partner of 4.5 years and I decided to break up, and all kinds of crazy angry thoughts and clever schemes flashed through my mind, I knew I would be creating the trajectory of this too. The truth is, I was heartbroken. And even through the deep hurt and pain, I knew I could choose how I think, react and behave. This is a simple principle I work on daily, and yet, it’s not easy in the face of a breakup.
Our relationship was 4.5 years of magic. We were deep practice partners, using our union for learning and growing ourselves as individuals while helping others along the way. I took my first trip to Europe with him and saw the Eiffel Tower for the first time while I held his hand. We moved mountains to live together and we lived in three amazing cities in two years. We got to know and love each other’s children.
Our relationship felt like an extreme sport at times, and the real truth is that we grew up together in those 4.5 years.
A few days after our decision to break up, he was leaving for a business trip. I woke up that morning and the tears were pouring out of me. But I got stuck in my pride and tried to hide my feelings and make it seem as if I was unaffected by the situation. Yeah, I’m cool. I didn’t want to reveal how hurt and scared I really was.
When we sat down to talk that morning, anger and blame oozed out of me. It felt crunchy and my body felt tight and hot. Thank god we paused for a few moments, because in that breather, when the tears flooded out of me yet again, I heard a voice to surrender to the truth. I then decided to drop my ego and expose the Real Me, as was my practice in our relationship all along.
Here I was presented with this new Yoga pose to try the truth in. I stuffed a tissue inside my dress to pat the inevitable tears and sat next to him on the couch, instead of across from him on the chair where I was earlier.
In that moment, instead of talking, I leaned into him and no words were spoken, none were needed. Just tears — rivers and oceans of tears. He held me, and I felt deeply loved and cherished. He didn’t do or say anything to make it any different from what it was. Spatterings of words came out here and there from both of us, and I told him all the truths. The love, the hurt, the fear, the desire.
I could feel my heart opening, and as more truths poured out, I started feeling joyful and deeply aligned with myself. From there, the most beautiful of moments followed.
Here are six more ways I opened my heart during this breakup:
1. The Power of Yes
The day we broke up, I heard a voice from within to accept all offers that came to me. It would be easy to isolate and go into victim mode, but why make it harder? Friends messaged me, asking f I wanted to talk. Yes, I do. Another friend asked to meet for coffee. Yes, I will. I decided to say Yes every time someone offered to talk, to listen, and most important of all, I said Yes to myself.
If I felt like taking a swim or lying in bed and crying, the answer was Yes. When I was considering cancelling a class I was scheduled to teach that Friday night, a friend told me, Hell Yes you are teaching that class. And so I did. That simple Yes led to synchronicities and new friendships beyond my wildest dreams. Each Yes brought me to the next Yes and then the next.
Before I knew it, I was receiving so much love, feeling deeply connected to myself and others and even with the deep loss I was experiencing, there was a lot of joy in my heart.
2. Feel It All and Reach Out
As beautiful as this breakup has been, there have been plenty of moments when I have been on my knees, crying hysterically with snot pouring out of me.
One morning I lay in bed and it felt like demons were surrounding me. I was alone and felt terrified. My choices were simple: reach out right now, or lie there and suffer. With shaking hands, I texted a few friends to say hello and I typed out the vulnerable words, I am so scared.
Just then, a friend invited me to join a video class she was about to teach. Since it was my practice to say Yes, I hopped on that video call in my nightgown, with my red nose and tears pouring out like a faucet. I kept reaching out for connections like this. There is no need to be alone, no need to suffer.
3. Open to Receive
Love notes in a breakup? Yep. I found colorful love notes all around our apartment after he left for his business trip. He left them for me in my goddess card box, in my dresser drawer and in my suitcase when I opened to pack it. The notes touched me deeply. In our years together, we traveled a lot, and would often leave each other love notes. I love that he thought of this, even now… especially now.
I received them with an open heart. Some of them brought me to tears. I thanked him as I found each one.
4. Make Soup
My dear, how can I be more loving to you; my darling, how can I be more kind? Hafiz asked in his famous poem. Well, I will tell you that the true measure of being more loving and kind is during a time of unrest. It’s easy to be loving and kind when things are going smoothly. But what about when it feels like everything is falling apart?
One afternoon, I decided to pour my love into a pot of my homemade chicken soup for him. I handpicked the organic ingredients and simmered that soup for two days, as I always do. I left it in the freezer for him to find upon his return, with a note of love, of course.
5. Drop the Rules
There are a lot of beliefs of how breakups should be. We tossed out all the etiquette, felt all the feelings together, and stayed really connected. The afternoon before he left, we walked hand in hand to the local taco shop. He generously treated me to lunch, as he always did. The time for him to leave for the airport loomed over us, and as it got closer, he came into the bedroom where I was working.
It was as if we could read each other’s minds. Without hesitation, I put my computer down and we embraced each other. I removed my dress, and with each touch, each kiss, I cried and let out all my sadness. So many tears. As he lay on top of me, I could feel his belly quivering too, all the loss moved through us and we had delicious sweet tearful sex.
6. Embrace Opportunity
As we got in the car to leave for the airport, he checked his flight and what do you know… it was cancelled. Cancelled? After the most beautiful (and longest) day together, after the truth-telling, the tacos, the teary sex, the final goodbye, he suddenly wasn’t leaving. Feelings of excitement and exasperation ran through me.
Part of me was ready to be on the other side of this long goodbye, and part of me wanted to call the whole thing off and never let him go. We sat in the car, laughing at the irony of the situation, and we took a moment to be still. I shared how electric my body felt and how truly happy I was for one more night together, in our home.
It felt vulnerable to share that, and I did, as I wanted to keep leaning in to revealing the real truth. He took me out for a sushi dinner, and later we curled up to episodes of Modern Family together, like we often did, before falling asleep. It felt so easy, so natural, so right. Just as our 4.5 years has been, just as this breakup has been.
Writing this article, recalling and feeling the details, it feels strange to believe that the two people in this article would break up. And yet it is true. We have created another beautiful tapestry together — a breather with room to grow individually. Who knows what may be born when we just let go? Time shall tell.
Brenda Fredericks is a teacher and Transformational Coach for moms. She shows women how to be more confident, know what they want, and create the relationships they wish they had. She co-founded The Generation Project with her daughter, and helps women heal their mother-daughter relationships. She’s a writer, a goddess, a mother of two, a former middle school teacher of 22 years, and has been on a 10-year journey of claiming her power as a woman and mother. Check out her online calls for women and coaching opportunities at her website.