Breaking up is hard to do

Joey Garcia

I broke up with my girlfriend because we couldn’t talk without bickering. Sex was great at first, but then it died and there was no reason to stay together. Anyway, last week it was my birthday and she left a bunch of really nice stuff on my back porch. But I don’t want to get back together with her. So do I return the stuff? Or can I keep it? (I already smoked most of the weed she left.)

Translation: Are these gifts freely given or are strings attached? To discover the answer, look inside. Do you give to others without expecting something in return? Or is your gift-giving practice a harbor for your expectations?

Contractual presents are those given out of obligation. I give you a gift at Christmas, for example, so that you will give one to me. A real gift carries no contract. I give you a present because it’s what I choose to do. What you do with that present is your decision. That’s how grown people thrive—spiritually grown people, I mean.

I’m inviting you to reflect so you will shake off your fear. At some level you believe you owe this woman something in return for her thoughtfulness. Here’s the juice: You’re afraid that you left her with the impression you can be bought. She can have access to you in exchange for cool trinkets and some weed. Crazy, right? Consider it a sign from the universe to level up your understanding of how to give or receive.

I keep having breakup sex with my ex. I feel so ashamed afterwards and so stupid for hooking up with him. He’s a loser who cheated on me multiple times. How do I stop?

Mind over hormones. Incredible sex can make letting go difficult, but never impossible. You need to see yourself as you are (write an honest list of your good qualities and repeat it to yourself daily), instead of as you fear you are (a woman who doesn’t deserve respect, even her own).

Focusing on your value will elevate your sense of self-worth. The more honest you are about your self-worth, the easier it is to embody behaviors that honor your body, mind and spirit. When shame arises tell yourself that the woman who opted for 20 minutes of pleasure has been replaced. She’s now a woman who chooses serenity and invests in growing her sense of self-worth.

My boyfriend wants to go on a break for the summer. The only thing that got me through last semester was knowing I would spend the summer with him. How can he do this? Is there some way to change his mind?

It’s easier to change your own mind. The fantasies that propelled you through a tough semester are destroyed by reality. Maybe you need a break from fantasy? Drive yourself into summer like you own the season. Do the things you daydreamed about; just invite a friend to join you instead. Let her or his presence be enough to inspire your happiness. Teach yourself how to become an escape, rather than placing that burden on the man in your life.

Meditation of the week
“At any moment, you have a choice, that either leads you closer to your spirit or further away from it,” said Thich Nhat Hanh, a monk and peace activist. How intimate are you willing to be with yourself?

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