I saw him across the dance floor. I’d seen him DJing earlier and I liked his vibe. It helped that I found him incredibly handsome. I went straight up to him and was met with complete openness. We danced and eye gazed before we even said a word.
We spent the next day together. Conversations flowed and we found many areas of interest. When he touched me I felt electricity, and he was very adoring and funny. Our connection seemed sweet and there was talk of us spending more time together.
It was all going well up until late in the day when he brought up his ex-girlfriend. I immediately noticed bitterness in his voice when he talked about her. He began to explain all that he’d endured because of her. “She just can’t take accountability for what she did.”
“Have you taken accountability for your part in the relationship?” I asked.
The answer was short and quickly routed back to what she’d done.
To say the energy fizzled for me is an understatement. It died, instantly. Every word he said about her was another nail in the coffin.
This is not to say that he didn’t have a good story about her. She’d done all sorts of hurtful things according to him. But after several years in the dating game, I can tell you that the worst experiences I’ve had have been with men who have not fully cleared their stories about their ex-girlfriends. I know that somehow, in some way, their internal drama with her will leak out onto me.
This is my experience, and I choose to go for guys who are totally clear with their exes. This does not mean that they need to be best friends with her. Maybe they need space from her and there’s a story that niggles him every now and again.
But in this case, the saga seemed so intense. His whole energy shifted when he brought her up, his voice got louder, and I felt stressed listening to him. I even told him that it wasn’t making me feel good to listen, but he didn’t seem to hear me. His story just kept flowing out of his mouth like a river with no damn. And when I learned that they’d broken up several years before, the red flag became a red wall.
I sat and listened until he was complete, noticing my own completeness. I no longer had any interest in being affectionate with him or going on the date we had planned. Our short-lived future vanished.
He assured me he was totally over her and even his friends were impressed by how well he was doing after “what she did.” Let me be clear that he is an awesome person and I’m sure he’s right where he needs to be, but I’m not going to date him there.
I see now more than ever that I’m only up for relating with men who have resolution and harmony with their past relationships because that’s what I strive for myself. I’ve managed to have some sort of friendly vibe with pretty much everyone I’ve ever related with. Some of those required A LOT of work on my part. I’ve had to overcome my victim stories, forgive, and move on. When that happens I pretty much always see the light in the other person. It is ultimately me who benefits most from letting it all go and coming back to Love. It is only there that I am free within myself.
And I seek to relate with men who have a similar standard for themselves. I like men who are present, make me laugh, and are free to explore with me rather than harping on that girl from the past.
Here are a few of the ways that I have found useful in moving beyond those stories into open-hearted empowerment.
When we discover that everyone who comes into our field is there to trigger those wounded parts of us, relating becomes a far more interesting game. Once we understand how the Universe works, we can no longer play victim to other people’s behavior. They’re just showing us our own patterns, our childhood, and where we must learn to love ourselves more. This leads us to number 2.
It can get annoying to be told that every issue in your life is a call to Love yourself more. Your ex is just mirroring those spaces within that have been separated from your own love. As we take responsibility for inviting this person into our lives and love ourselves even as we see our own anger, betrayal, abandonment, and flaws, we free ourselves. Don’t underestimate how much work this can be. It’s not always overnight abracadabra and you’re over it. But this work is what we are being called to and is sure to pay off in future relationships. We generally attract the same stories again and again until we learn the lessons and open to new relationships full of our own love rather than wounds.
Forgiveness is not saying that someone’s actions weren’t hurtful, it’s letting yourself off the hook. When we hang onto resentments, we keep ourselves chorded with that person. Free yourself from resentment as it festers and creates all sorts of problems.
4. Find Their Light
Is it possible that you can see beyond their mistakes to the essence of their soul? They are a human just like you on the path of discovery. Beyond what they’ve done is a beautiful, hurt child releasing their wounds and finding their own light. If you can’t find the light, go back to number 1 and ask why you called a narcissist into your life.
5. Come Back to Reality
If all you can see is their light, take them off of the pedestal you’ve put them on. Often after we split up with someone we dwell on their good points and totally forget there was always something “not quite right.” Focus on the reasons why it was not the match made in heaven that your mind has now created post-breakup.
6. Discover the Gift
We attract relationships because they help strip away old patterns so we can become more of who we are. How has this relationship helped you to grow? How are you going to show up differently in future relationships? How can you take the lessons you’ve received in service to the world? What is that big, juicy, take away nugget?
7. Let that Shit Go!
At some point after you’ve done all of the above, it’s time to let it go. Sometimes we remain hooked on these stories out of habit. When you find your mind headed down that old pathway thinking about your ex, carve a new path. Think of something else. Meditate. Block them on social media so you don’t torture yourself with pictures of their new life. Break the habit of focusing on them. Switch into creation mode by declaring the qualities you’re looking for in future relationships.
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