Somewhat surprisingly, it is one of the most requested topics for a blog.
“How can meditation and mindfulness help me in my relationship or after a bad breakup?”
Meditation and mindfulness are helpful and important in all aspects of your life. Relationships are no exception. I would encourage you to listen to my conversation with Dr. Rachel that is available on YouTube and iTunes. She was extremely insightful, and I think you would enjoy.
It is impossible to intelligently discuss a breakup or a hard relationship without first discussing the proper foundation of a healthy relationship.
Similarly, we cannot really discuss a “relationship” with other people before we understand that the most important relationship we have is with ourselves. YOU must know YOU in order to truly be a good judge of who should be in your life and in what capacity.
Without this prerequisite knowledge, you can easily find yourself searching for meaning in a string of unhealthy relationships and absolutely devastated when one ends. The devastation actually makes perfect sense if you have defined who you are as a reflection of someone else. Since Sifu’s old advice, “best block is don’t be there” applies to way more than getting punched on the mats,
the more you know yourself and what you need and are worth, the less likely you are to be in bad relationships in the first place.
But, you’re here now. Although many times, our choices have profound impacts on our experiences, this isn’t always the case. Sometimes the person is not who you thought they were. Sometimes they aren’t truly aimed at the “good”, in terms of their relationship with you. We can all encounter people like this. In these situations, you have to pay attention. People generally reveal who they are by what they do. Sometimes we are so eager to hear what they SAY that we ignore obvious signs. We want and need to be loved and this can make us vulnerable. This vulnerability actually makes you stronger when it’s healthy, as you have someone to face life with and with whom you can be your authentic self. But a bad actor can truly wreak havoc.
If you’re in this situation (as all of us have been), get out. Once you’ve done that, you’re faced with the monumental task of putting your life back together. We’ve talked about how hard this can be and how a malevolent partner can make you question everything in your life. This is why knowing yourself is so crucial. In these moments, as in all others, the harder path of honesty is the best one to take. You must reconcile the fact that the person is not who you thought they were, so it isn’t really THAT PERSON who you miss. It is more likely how he or she made you feel. If you can come to grips with the fact that the individual wasn’t who you thought, your sense of loss will be lessened.
A relationship forged on the basis of who you are is going to be a lot stronger and lasting than one based on who you are not.
Since so many people are lonely and desperate for companionship, we consciously put up fake personas to entice potential partners. But this can’t last. You, as you are, are worthy of love and fidelity. Don’t make yourself someone you are not in order to get someone who isn’t who they say they are either. It will be a matter of time before disaster strikes.
This way is no doubt harder, but ease has never been a good indicator of whether or not a thing should be done. You and your potential partner will have to negotiate openly and honestly to determine if you’re a proper match. If that is established, then you have to stay focused on the good and what is good for the relationship. Cherish each other and tell each other the hard truths. Be vulnerable. Although much more difficult in the short term, a relationship that is negotiated openly and honestly is one that has been built on a foundation that can weather bad times and good.
In A Bronx Tale, Sonny tells Calogero that, “You’re only allowed three great women in your lifetime…Maybe she’s your first great one.” I don’t know if Sonny was right on the number, but it doesn’t seem obvious that the amount of potential “great loves” is much higher. Don’t waste your time on temporary fixes to a deep and meaningful desire. And if you find that you have wasted time, try not to mourn someone who wasn’t real in the first place.
No matter how far down the wrong road you are, once you realize it, the proper response is to get off of that road.
It is through loving ourselves, with all of our flaws and with all of our attributes, that we can truly navigate these emotional minefields. Old wisdom is true here: Find Mr. or Ms. “right” …not Mr. or Ms. “right now.” Don’t be afraid to be alone and listen to your inner voice. A relationship can be one of the most wonderful and helpful things in your life or one of the most destructive. It’s dangerous business to let someone truly in. It’s even more dangerous if you don’t know who you are. Figure that out through introspection, honesty, meditation and patience. It isn’t easy, and I don’t think it’s meant to be. There is some form of strength that comes with this struggle and quest. It will happen for you, if you let it.