[Photo credit: artist and illustrator, Siri Stiklestad Opli http://www.fjellbjorka.no]
How do we get over someone leaving us?
How do we cope with the stand off after a row?
How do we mend a broken heart?
We don’t. We can’t.
It’s not just hard to break up. It is literally impossible.
It’s impossible to come to terms with any sort of separation because… well… separation isn’t possible.
It looks like it is. It looks like it is a fact of life, a way of life even. Divorce. Separation. Estrangement. Cold shoulders. Stand-offs. Severance. And especially that ultimate of separators, death.
But when we look at what is going on in any relationship whether blissful or belligerent, we see that separation is never possible.
And this is because the truth of any relationship is an experience in this moment, right now, of another.
All relationships. All past memories. All future projections. All hurt. All disappointment. All devastation. All gratitude. All dreams dashed. All happiness. All of it.
All of it can only arise as an experience right now in this moment. All of it a creation of perception.
And if it’s not in this moment right now then it is not in this reality.
So the only reality of the relationship is how that other appears right now in relation to how this self of ours appears right now.
And how that other appears and how the self appears will always be via the filter of perception.
And this is enormous.
This tells us why it is impossible to ‘break up’ with someone and it also points the way to the most profound peace in all our relationships.
1. All experience of another is via perception
That is the only way we can experience anyone ever. Through all the filters and layers of conditioning. We don’t experience anyone directly. Essentially everyone (our idea of self included) is a creation of thought.
So truthfully we are never ‘in love’ with someone, we are ‘in love’ with an idea of them. We never ‘hate’ another. We ‘hate’ the idea of them. We never ‘break up’ with someone, we ‘break up’ with an idea of them.
2. We have no control over how and when we experience another
An experience of another arises. That person might be right in front of our eyes as a living being. It might be a memory of someone who passed away decades ago. It might be an idea of what this child of ours here might be like in 10 years time. It might be prompted by an email or letter from the other. It might be the sensation of someone provoked by a smell or a meaningful sight.
In comes the experience. The content, timing and nature of that experience is out of our control. And that experience in that moment is the apparent reality of that person, of our relationship with them. Past, present, future. Alive or dead. Married or estranged. It makes no difference.
We have no control over what that experience is and when it appears. We cannot ‘break up’ with someone because we cannot ‘break up’ from the uncontrollable possibility of experience of that person appearing.
3. Trying to get over a break up is trying to stop experience of that person arising or trying to change the nature of that experience. Impossible.
So when we try to get over someone we try to not experience them any more or we try to force those experiences to be ones in which we are less insecure or angry or hurt. We resist the experience. We try to make it not be there. Which is impossible. It’s too late. The experience is already there. And it is already there in that form.
Impossible for it to be any other way.
4. The nature of the experience and our openness to it is always a function of our understanding of who we are and of what reality is
This is the big deal. Right here. We can spend our whole lives in the futile and exhausting attempt to control experience, trying to force the thoughts to go away or be different. Or indeed trying to make other people different.
Or we explore who we are and watch the whole lot transform before our eyes.
Because when we see that all experience of another and of ourself is a creation of thought, we realise that none of that can have any objective truth to it. We realise that both the idea of self and other are experiences arising in consciousness.
So this angry, hurt, abandoned self is a momentary thought-created experience. As is the thoughtless, disloyal, abandoning other. None of it relates to who we really are or who they are. We are awareness of all that.
As awareness there is no need to resist any experience. All of it can be allowed in. All the memories. The future hopes. The anger. The outrage. The desire. The jealousy. The loneliness. None of it is harmful in any way.
And it is not harmful because we are NOT that insecure self that needs this other to be present or alive or in love with us or not in bed with someone else or not slagging us off on social media. We never were and never will be.
As this identity dissolves we come closer to reality. We are no longer noisily fighting and resisting our own reflection. We are seeing, as clearly as it is possible to see, the simple truth.
We are peace itself. Open to and present with all experience.
We are freedom itself. The freedom of no resistance to whatever arises.
We are love itself. And we know this is true of everyone. We see love reflected back everywhere we look.
We are whole. The world is who we are. The experiences are who we are. The other is always us. There is no other.