The Joy of Leaving

Someone can be madly in love with you and still not be ready. They can love you in a way you’ve never been loved and still not join you on the bridge. And whatever their reasons, you must leave. Because you never ever have to inspire anyone to meet you on the bridge. You never ever have to convince someone to do the work to be ready… ~ Nayyirah Waheed

It’s close to three years since my ex and I parted ways, but in all honesty, I’m still in the process of leaving him. My perceived inability to move on used to upset and confuse me. What is wrong with me? Why can’t I get over him? Does this mean I should try to get back together with him? Did his betrayal ruin my one and only chance at a life with my soul mate? These are all questions I have earnestly asked my therapist.

Here are some truths I’m beginning to accept will never change, no matter how much time passes, distance I put between us, healing I do and other people I fall in love with: I am deeply connected to this person, we have years of shared history, and I love him for the human being he is no matter how severely some of his past actions have wounded me.

These truths do not keep my mind peacefully quiet though (what does?). Sometimes when I’m in contact with my ex, multiple contradictory thoughts talk over each other at the same time in my brain.

Mind: I LOVE THIS PERSON. Quick! Marry him! Who gives a fuck what anyone else says!

Mind: Why can’t this guy get it together? He hasn’t changed at all. He still can’t risk being vulnerable. I still have to do all the emotional labour for both of us.

Mind: He clearly doesn’t love me anymore. He probably never did. Why else would he have cheated on me? Shit. I better do whatever I can to make him love me now.

Mind: Wow, look at how far I’ve come. I think I’m really over him this time. I don’t feel anything. *pause* Yep, NOTHING.

Here’s another truth, and it’s one I still struggle to accept: we love each other but we’re not going to meet on that metaphorical bridge. I used to believe that if someone doesn’t join me in that place of readiness, it means I’m not enough, they don’t love me enough. But now I’m starting to understand that ‘enough’ has nothing to do with it. Love has nothing to do with it.

This is the beauty of paradox. I can be with you without being with you. You can have my whole heart and I can still have more heart to give. We can be on different bridges, looking across at each other and waving hello.

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