When taking a close and genuine look at my relationship ending, I discovered the break up wasn't about my partner, not really.
This isn't what we are taught in the world today - we are taught that there is blame in everything. Especially in a relationship with two people, how easy is it for both parties to point the fingers at one another? Way too easy. And it happens way too often. I haven't been interested in pointing fingers, because at the end of the day it truly doesn't open the door to growth or change. Instead I opened the door to growth and change and I dove in head first.
What I've concluded in my time of reflection and personal work is that my break up was more of break up with myself - any part of me that was out of alignment and not living true to who I am and who I want to be. And I don't mean this in a "It's not you, it's me" kind of way, where you say that and then walk away with yourself and continue the same patterns. I mean it in a way that is more along the lines of "It's me, and I'm breaking up with the parts of me that I don't want to have around anymore, they aren't making me happy and it's time to separate." There is no walking away with myself, completely the same, and continuing patterns. No way. Those days are over. I'm leaving myself, and walking away into the unknown, terrified, and in search for the truest version of me.
Now, with that said, if there was space in the container of the relationship for that work to be done, a second break up could have been avoided. Without the right tools, it's extremely difficult for a partner to hold the kind of space needed for that kind of work.
So, I made the decision, and I called it off. I called off the relationship with the part of me that abandoned myself and my needs to meet the needs of everyone around me. I called off the relationship with the part of me that waited for permission to be myself completely. And I certainly ended the relationship with the part of me that made myself small, so I could fit in the box that allowed others around me to feel more comfortable. Most importantly, I broke up with the part of myself that avoided the warning signs, signals and emotions that had been trying to get my attention for far too long.
As a result, I made a vow to experience every emotion completely; no more avoiding, no more numbing, distracting or keeping busy to avoid the truth. Those emotions came on slowly at first, and then all at once - like a freight train! It was hard - but I vowed to feel it all. At the other end of those emotions I found clues, little pieces of me that were hurt in the past, or abandoned. Like little puzzle pieces, I began putting them together, feeling more and more like my true self with each newly connected piece - and the process of stepping into my power began.
My break up was not about my partner, it was about me. I broke up with the parts of myself that were conditioned, or acting from a place of survival or even trauma responses that became comfortable and safe. Those parts served a purpose at some point, but I was ready to take my life back. And I did. I opened up the door to every emotion that followed, and on the other side of the painful emotions, I met myself.
The journey continues. But it first began with a decision to love myself completely, say goodbye to the parts of myself that were keeping me from fully and completely loving and even knowing myself. Yes it was heartbreaking, yes it meant meant walking away from everything in my life, but more than anything, what I know to be true is this: it was the biggest act of courage I've ever taken in my life. And I love myself for it.