It was over. And I had no idea what to do. I had come to the realization that I had been in a relationship with someone I didn't like. And therefore, I had come to dislike myself. Facing the truth was one of the most painful things that I've ever had to do because I had lied to myself for so long about the relationship, about the fact that we had very different understandings of love and respect. But in this darkness, I found light. It came in the form of these five quotes, here they are:
1. "When people show who they are believe them" — Dr. Maya Angelou.
My dear friend, Pearl, told me this when I was confused about whether or not I had asked him to give too much. This quote helped me realize that many of us excuse people's behavior. But if someone hasn't shown up for you in the way you'd hoped they would, they simply haven't shown up for you. Making excuses for them won't help; it will do the opposite. Acknowledging and accepting someone's behavior brings clarity.
2. "Don't take it personally" — Don Miguel Ruiz.
During a break-up, we can get caught up in our thoughts. We can become obsessed with what the other person has done wrong to us, promoting a victim mentality. The truth is that many people have decided to be whoever they are before they consider how it will affect you. Someone who is inconsiderate or disrespectful to you will be disrespectful or inconsiderate to someone else, too. It's part of their character, don't take it personally.
3. "When you hold onto your history you did it at the expense of your history." — T.D Jakes
The day after I decided to leave the relationship, I wanted to leave it differently compared to how I had left previous relationships. I didn't want to dwell. So I started a 30-day yoga challenge of forgiveness. Everyday I forgave him for a reason that he had hurt me. I was actively choosing which beliefs and feelings moved forward with me and which ones I could discard, so that I could become the person I wanted to be.
4. "Peace is power" — Joyce Meyers.
I had spent enough time being angry, frustrated and disappointed, that I could no longer do it anymore. I left a relationship that wasn't serving me and after that, I decided to let go of emotions that weren't serving me, either. I let them go because the only way that I could fully move forward was if I was at peace with myself and the past.
5. "I've been trying to get down to the heart of the matter but my flesh gets weak.... I know it's about forgiveness even if you don't love me anymore." — India Arie from 'Heart of the Matter'
I played this song every day for a few months after the break-up. It helped me acknowledge that at some point my former partner will move on. While that might hurt, I also have a life to live, and, I want him to have a life. Holding onto the progression of my former partner's romantic life only brings negative emotions and energy into my life. Forgiveness helps me let go of any competition with him about who finds love first. After all, it is my life. He was just a part of it and fortunately, life goes on.