Partnership and break up as a catalyst for growth

This summer right after my partner and I had split up, my friend Stephen asked me: “So what went wrong Amira?”. I replied “nothing went wrong”, even though at that moment the deeper meaning of our break up had not yet revealed itself to me. I replied “nothing went wrong”, because I have realised that in life all encounters, relationships and experiences always have a deeper meaning; a kind of lesson, and that everything is always on its way towards harmony regardless of what I think (how my mind/conditioning reacts) about the situation. Relationships come to wake us up, to teach and mirror us. Some relationships are supposed to last a short moment, others a year or ten, and sometimes they last a lifetime.

When I started to look into our relationship in a deeper way, what came up for me first was that I felt I didn’t get enough closeness and connection with my partner. Straight after that a memory came from the first week we spent together. We were having this conversation about what kind of relationship we were looking for and what we wished from our partner. I remember so clearly saying that what I really wish from my partner is his presence. Now afterwards I feel that from all my partnerships, we had the strongest connection and love yet, but I felt I never got enough of his presence or loving attention and intimacy. When there was presence and intimacy it was the best ever, but I was always missing more. I also felt attention was always on him. These notions got me curious and I turned the words in towards myself. I am not present for myself as much as I need myself to be. I don’t consider myself enough. I am afraid to be close to myself. I am afraid of intimacy with myself.

Straight away this felt right and clear, it was the truth. The purpose of this relationship was, amongst other things, to help me become aware of how I am afraid to meet myself in a deeper way and the purpose of the break up was to push me into the process of change. Life also gave me other triggers to help me get in contact with the feelings, pains and sensations that I had so brilliantly avoided for many years. All those shadow aspects were yearning for my gentle and loving attention.
Seems that a lot of my friends are battling around this same theme. We wonder why we still meet this same problem in our relationships. Of course we all have our own unique personal needs that don’t get met and satisfied and problems that become the reason why the relationships end. But for sure this theme is in the air at least in my circle of friends.

For the past few months I’ve focused on giving myself that which I have always hoped, needed and expected from others. I’ve taken the time to listen to myself and I’ve concentrated on taking care of my inner child who has been in distress for a very long time. For me it’s been especially difficult to face my wounds on my own, it’s been easier to look for help. I’ve gone through a long therapy and have received loving mirroring there, but before this summer I haven’t had the courage and strength to face my deeper fears alone, I’ve always ran to someone else for security. Now life threw me into a situation where my closest friends were not available when I most needed them and I was forced to finally face my fears and my feelings of insecurity on my own. I couldn’t sleep, so I didn’t have energy to do anything and like this I was forced to stay still. The insomnia was really a blessing in disguise because it brought fear to the surface, the tiredness loosened my control and it guided me to learn to surrender and not fight something that is incontrollable. I am grateful that all this happened, because in this extremely difficult situation, I got the opportunity to start practicing being the adult and the loving parent that I had missed all my life. Life gave me just enough support and ideas so this extremely important relationship between myself and my innocence started to develop and grow.

I’ve always disliked and been really afraid of fear and the feeling of not being safe and I’ve done everything to avoid and get away from them. Finally I realised that the reason why these feelings have felt unbearable and why they have always evoked such a strong insecurity in me is that they are feelings that never got safe, loving, gentle attention and mirroring in my childhood. I got great help from Matt Khan’s book “What ever arises love that”. I recommend warmly, if you are afraid to be with your feelings.

This summer and fall I’ve worked in a theatre production in Suomenlinna, but mostly I’ve been home alone breathing and tossing and turning with feelings of fear and insecurity. I’ve just been and been with all my uncomfortable sensations and said thank you, thank you, thank you for being here, I will not leave you. I’ve let my deepest disappointments, the shameful thoughts and beliefs come visible and said – I love you. I’ve looked in the mirror and spoken the words again and again that I’ve always wanted to hear from others. I have apologised to myself and said repeatedly how much I love and value myself. Even though the words didn’t first resonate I kept on thinking – fake it till you make it. Slowly the words started to hit and I felt like my inner child started to believe that someone who loves her unconditionally and will not quit has arrived. I’ve have slowly started to feel how my sweet innocent heart has started to open.

It’s more clear now in which themes I have given the responsibility of loving and respecting myself to others. Like many of us, I’ve wanted a loving relationship where I would feel secure and get loving attention, loving words and closeness, but it has always just fallen short. Of course this happens because we cannot get this from others and usually we don’t even meet people who can give us that, what we cannot yet receive and give ourselves. Plus I don’t think anyone can give us the things we desire as perfectly as we can ourselves. Only we know the perfect words that will calm us down. I alone can give myself the belief and trust that I need. In the end it really doesn’t matter even if the whole world would believe in me if I don’t. In our relationships we get the perfect mirror for the purpose of reflection, growth and awareness and we can, amongst other things, see where we still step out of loving, believing and trusting ourselves. From this perspective relationships are a great opportunity as they bring our hidden unconscious parts into the light and then we can see in which parts we have possibly been abandoned and where we are still lacking something. Like this we get the opportunity to take responsibility of the things we have been expecting from others and finally give ourselves all the love and grace that we once didn’t get.

It can be quite difficult to see all this in oneself. In my case what made it such a long journey is the amount of shame I’ve been carrying, that’s why it’s taken a long time to meet certain feelings  – certain parts of myself. I’ve been so ashamed of how can I, a grown up, very capable woman need so much from others and how I can feel so greatly insecure and uncertain. Oh my dear inner child how alone you have been! Now it just feels so crazy, why would I be ashamed of myself and the power that lies in me? There is nothing in me that is shameful!

There is nothing to be afraid of in uncomfortable feelings or sensations, they are our friends, they guide and teach us. They are important parts of us. Feelings are energy and when we let them flow freely they ground and harmonise us. Nothing bad is going to happen when you let yourself feel your feelings no matter what kind of feelings they are, most likely you will relax and feel joy. Fear does not kill and when you accept it lovingly it is only energy that flows in the body for a while and reorganises itself. Resisting and controlling feelings is the one that hurts and makes us leave ourselves and our bodies, but thank god we have relationships. To learn how to meet and be with our feelings in a relaxed, care free way, we first need another person’s gentle and loving attention, like loving witnessing. It can be a partner, friend or a professional helper and after that we can hop in the driver’s seat ourselves and be that loving parent and partner to ourselves. When I know that nothing bad is going to happen, I can give my feelings and sensations the permission to be and observe them with curiosity and interest, meaning – I can allow myself to exist.

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I am grateful from the bottom of my heart to my ex for our incredible journey, which was healing on many levels and helped me see clearer and again get closer to myself. Thank you dear life for giving all the experiences that brought into the light the parts in me that I had lost contact with and that needed my loving gentle attention. Journey continues…

With ❤️ Amira

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