I want to tell you about a book. It’s called EAT PRAY LOVE and has, rightly, been a massive bestseller. It’s subtitle is ‘a woman’s search for everything,’ and it’s about the author, Elizabeth Gilbert’s search for balance in her life. I thoroughly recommend it for all kinds of reasons, one of which I’ll go into here. Many wonderful women settle for relationships that don’t really suit them, making compromises, putting up with things, feeling unfulfilled and frustrated. I have been married several times and battled to keep each relationship alive long after it should have been allowed to die, thinking that it was MY responsibility to find a way to MAKE it work, and that if I didn’t do everything I could, it was my fault. I see now how crazy that was.
After a very long gap (nothing since my last divorce in 2005), I began a relationship with a much younger man (38 to my 59). Not only was he younger, he was tall and possibly the most gorgeous man I’ve ever met. I couldn’t believe it when he showed an interest in me, we’d known each other, as friends, for a number of years. I’m not going into details here. All I will say is that being with him taught me an awful lot about myself. The biggest lesson being that what he was offering wasn’t, in the end, enough.
I’m going to quote from EAT PRAY LOVE as reading this book is helping me cope with losing this man, a man I loved so deeply, there were times I felt truly lost in him. A friend is telling her how it is. He says this -
“A true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that’s holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life. ……. ‘Your problem is you can’t let this one go…. (his) purpose was to shake you up, tear apart your ego, show you your obstacles and addictions, break your heart open so new light could get in, make you so desperate and out of control that you HAD to transform your life…. “
Elizabeth replies. “But I love him.”
“So love him.”
“But I miss him.”
“So miss him. Send him some love and light every time you think about him, then drop it. You’re just afraid to let go of the last bits of ( ) because then you’ll really be alone…. But here’s what you gotta understand. If you clear out all that space in your mind that you’re using to obsess about this guy, you’ll have a vacuum there… And guess what the Universe does? It will rush in… and fill you with more love than you ever dreamed.”
This is an edited version, there’s a lot more, every word of which hits home like a velvet covered sledgehammer.
SO that’s where I am. I’m not shouting at him, or begging him to change, or changing me to fit him, I’m stepping away, still loving him, still missing him but knowing that I’ve finally managed to break that life long pattern of staying in relationships because I didn’t feel worthy of anything better.
If you’re avoiding relationships because they’ve gone wrong in the past, I suggest you read this book. Be assured that as soon as some of that love comes rushing into my life, I will let the world know.