II am a gay man healing from a breakup with a partner whom I moved here to join. The relationship was never perfect, but I felt that we could work it out and grow. After learning that he was regularly unfaithful, I moved out to work on myself. He has since created an environment that forces our friends and family to choose between us. I admit that I have not acted entirely as I would have liked, but much of my actions are due to depression resulting from the breakup. I am in therapy and see that continued contact is not the best for my mental health. He sees this as a rejection of him, but I feel that it is the beginning of embracing myself. The dilemma: My heart aches like a compound fracture because I am still very much in love. I feel that he is my soul mate. I seek clarity in muddied waters.
Wait for the mud to settle. Right now, you’re clouded by emotions: grief (about the relationship’s end), guilt (about your behavior), fear (of what your family and friends think), loneliness (after being with someone regularly), despair (about whether you’ll ever find someone else), hurt (about his affairs) and repressed anger (depression). This is not a mind that can decide with clarity whether to return to a committed relationship or not. Preparing yourself to make sane decisions in the future means getting to know yourself now. Pressuring yourself to decide now whether to continue the relationship in the future is a distraction. It invites you to miss the spiritual power of this situation: the call to transformation. While it’s true on a human level that you have been betrayed, the spiritual truth is that you probably would not have sought therapy and time alone to understand yourself without being leveled by an emotional upheaval. This doesn’t mean that if you are right with God nothing ever happens to you. It means that when life happens, you move through it with greater ease because you know that you are gaining self-knowledge. From this perspective, your relationship with yourself was never perfect, but somewhere deep inside you, you knew that you could work it out and grow. Now you are.
One last thing: If it’s true that your actions were due to depression, the depression is due to the thoughts you have about yourself and the breakup. Unpack the beliefs behind those thoughts and you’ll have clarity.
Dear Readers: A few weeks back I asked, “What one thing could you change about yourself that would change the world?” Here are the three winning replies. The winners will each receive a one-year subscription to Sustenance, the magazine of conscious spirituality. My gratitude to all!
I would touch the lives of others with more loving kindness and understanding. They, in turn, would touch others until the world eventually emanated love.
I would remember, instant by instant, the exuberance and vivacity that life is.
I would stop blaming my family for my addictions and pain and the world for my financial failure. This would keep me aware of my ego, so I could stop it from driving me into behavior that hurts others and shames me. This would change my world.
—Name Withheld By Request