When life falls apart, your relationship is in chaos and the cat’s annoying you…
‘…suffering is inevitable for human beings as long as we believe that things last – that they don’t dis-integrate, that they can be counted on to satisfy our hunger for security. From this point of view the only time that we ever know what’s really going on is when the rug is pulled out & we can’t find anywhere to land.’
I have been pondering when things fall apart this week, whether it’s financial, career,
relationships, life in general, our belief in where we are going, family, friendships.
All of it really!
These situations create a tiny death, a feeling that we would rather not experience , something that we resist and may even attempt to stop.
Of course this is not death in the sense of leaving this mortal coil, it’s those tiny jerks that we feel that pull us out of what we are experiencing, into something new. There is the feeling of loss and pain associated with these times in our lives. We can’t protect ourselves from suffering it is inevitable that we will experience varying degrees of it from time to time.
When we re-frame the thoughts that we have it is easier to make tough choices, it is easier to just say this is how it is now. A situation is tough if we are associating with our feeling mind, making it rigid and not allowing room for change. This is why some people get over difficult times easier than others.
Years ago I struggled with my own dysfunction, with my own interminable ache. My past relationship was my biggest fall apart.
Letting go is one of the toughest things for humans, we get cosy, we like things the way that they are and we often resist change. Yet, change will come whether we want it to or not. In 2007 then 2011 it came knocking on my door pretty hard. I couldn’t really see it at the time; I thought that everything was fine. I was happy, I was plodding along. I had a great relationship. It all seemed to be good.
Then little things started to happen, I noticed my other half of the time was not happy. It was as if we were just going through the motions and I knew what that meant. I did everything that I could to save us, yet there it was that great big elephant in the room, it was clear we wanted different things. He’s a party animal at heart and I am a learned little bookie thing.
It was one of the toughest things that I have ever experienced and part of me just wanted to say let’s just keep going, but I knew in truth that it would not be fair to either of us.
In the end I went with it and rather than resisting, I just sat in the feeling of it and absorbed everything that I had to experience. I just kept putting one foot in front of the other, knowing that there would come a time when the pain stopped and when sunshine didn’t look like rain anymore.
When you are in a stage of your life where you feel that something needs to change, that is the sign that something needs to change. It is typical for us to spend years pondering over this sign, which is so clear. Change will come whether we resist it or not because it is what it does. Either that or we live in disconnection from ourselves.
The trick is to be honest with yourself and make the moves that you need to make. I know that this is easier said than done. Whatever comes to you is what you are calling for. So for example, although I was resistant to losing my relationship, I must have been sending a message out that I wanted something different. Eventually the universe will give you what you’re asking for. Therefore, be careful what you think, as it may manifest.
Romantic relationships are funny things, aren’t they? They are the biggest playground we have, we learn, (if we allow it) a great deal about ourselves from them. Relationships push the boundaries and get us to really face who we are.
This weirdly is the reason that we become so annoyed when we have to walk away. You’d think that it was because we’d had enough, but it’s usually because of the investment that we have made, in time, change and growth. We grow in relationships, we become different people. We may develop habits or drop habits or create passion, or create children, decorate homes and buy cars together.
Yes, we invest so much of ourselves in this and we want it to work. Yet, sometimes we’ve finished our journey together, there isn’t anything more to be said. When it happened in my life there was no denying it, we were ready to close the book and that life was ready to move into quiet background noise that would eventually flow away.
I was trained in life to believe in certain things and having a proper job, relationship, car, the kids, the works was the way I was raised. Because of this I did not want the change that life was levelling at me. Imagine the type of change that has you living in a way that you never ever thought you would live.
I look back now and can see that I was resistant; it meant upturning a huge apple cart. If you are attempting to make something work, then it probably won’t ever work. It means that you are in the wrong song, the wrong book the wrong movie. Or maybe it’s timing if you’d met in another life, another time things could have been different.
Don’t get me wrong I would not change the experience, not ever; it was great while it lasted and I learnt a lot about myself from it. It is also a huge part of who I am today.
Now that’s another thing we learn more if we accept that things are finished, we learn more and grow more through forgiving and letting it end.
I see now that if I had resisted the change the movement that was being offered to me, I would not be where I am today. Is it a better place? I don’t know. However, I do know that the change has made it easier for me to do the things that scare me… Yup, that whole relationship helped me to move into a new me. I just did not know it at the time.
It helped me to be the me, that I am now, I take my own advice, I worry less about everything around me and I allow my heart to inform me.
In short this is the reason that things fall apart, they fall apart to help us to make way for something different, whether it’s our career, our relationship, our friendships. We have to be willing to listen to what we want and not bend to another’s will. That is love it’s when you can be who you are and not have to sacrifice too much of what you want to be in that union, that job, that friendship.
When we sacrifice too much of who we are, we are not being who we are, which means that eventually unease, disconnect and chaos will follow. When we flow with life and our own inner feeling, life is simpler. It is easier for us to navigate and we are more able to feel ease in all that we do.
Of course there will be compromise in any situation, relationship or job and that is fine because it will give us room for growth and change within itself. It’s only when the compromise becomes something that pulls you away from your own nature, or from the things that you need to do, when it might be time for change.
When we hit rock bottom, which I did, there is only one way to move and that is upward again. I am still moving forward and over the years I have learnt a lot about myself and who I am. It has strengthened all my relationships to know that when I am not in duality, my life flows in a way that is both positive and inspiring.
The real issue is when we avoid making ‘fall apart’ decisions because we do not want to go through the pain, or we are afraid of what will come next. Honestly, from experience there is something liberating about not knowing what next.
It is a typical human reaction to want to run away, to fall into paralysis or to fight. We do this by not facing things when they get tough, or by not making a decision. The fact is the decision will still be there, it’s not really possible to run away from our own feelings.
Falling apart can open the door to putting yourself back together again. In coming back together you may find a new you will emerge.
So when your world starts to fall apart and you get the signs that say this is it, I have had enough of this. Be honest with yourself and explore the change that is coming for you. Make a commitment to be in the moment and see, hear and feel how you can move forward without too much pain. There will of course be pain, we are human which means that we have feelings and it is fine to feel this. In fact it is better to feel this because the more we give into the feeling, the easier the healing process will be.
It’s fine when things fall apart for us to fall apart, it’s fine to feel awful and to go through the healing process, this is necessary. They say that we experience one month of grief for each year that we were together in a relationship. This is okay, for grief is a necessary component of letting go.
Never know you may even realise that you don’t need the change, and that you just want to make some gentle adjustments. Now how cool would that be? What could have been an upheaval turns to surrender. It might still hurt or be tough, but it will mean that you are living with what you want and honouring your feelings.
There is a space for re-birth in all tricky decisions.
It’s good to remember that we can not make a mistake, that anything that is happening, has happened or that will ever happen (no matter how light or dark it is,) is fine. We need to accept it, live with it and be brave enough to make any changes necessary that help us to live our brightest life: The kind of life that we deserve.
Lots love xxxXx
*Pema Chondron – When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times