I just finished watching the finale episode of the Office. If you guys don’t know the show, I strongly suggest you to watch it. It is a fantastic documentary-style comedy TV series that makes you laugh as much as it makes you fall in love with the realism of the characters and their stories. If you have ever grown to love a tv series and its characters, you probably know that watching a finale can create heart-warming feelings of nostalgia. I actually felt proud of the makers of this wonderful series, proud of all of the actors that have made the show feel so real, and all I could think of was “well done.” I felt grateful for all the participants of this creation to have put together all of their talent, skill and passion for us all to enjoy and remember.
I could keep going about this series but that’s not entirely the point I aim to make with this blog. After the show was over, the good-feeling, gratitude and nostalgia that I felt merged with the heavier feeling of nostalgia that I was feeling about a current ending that I have experienced recently: the ending of a relationship.
We were best friends, we went through a lot together. Drama, laughs, cries, craziness, confusion, weirdness, fun, unconditional love… to the point were we became like family. It definitely wasn’t the typical “romantic” relationship with all the passion and role-playing, but I’m sure you guys know this isn’t really meant to be a constant anyways. Wasn’t perfect, but it was the perfect recipe for growth in many ways – and our separation continues to make me grow.
But the point of this blog isn’t to attempt to describe the way our relationship has been and how it has ended either. After watching the finale of the show, something “clicked” within me that has lifted a weight over my heart. As much as an on-screen story cannot really compare to how we feel about loved ones (and please don’t take this comparison seriously) something has pushed me to use the lighthearted nostalgia I felt at the end of the show as a metaphor for the wonderful memories of my past relationship. Sure, my feelings about my past relationship weren’t so light hearted. They included resistance to my emotions, tension in my heart, fears of further loss and a feeling like I had to walk on eggshells. My response to the ending of the series however, was loving and compassionate, grateful for the experience and with a pleasant overview of the bigger picture: it was an awesome experience.
And so I asked myself: why should the two reactions be different? Why should one be such a struggle while the other is simply appreciative? Sure, one is a real-life story and the other is not, but taking the comparison literally isn’t my point. Considering the fact that both have been a wonderful experience in their own respective way, I feel that resisting or resenting the end of a relationship is not that different from resenting the end of a wonderful movie with a valuable lesson, or the cast for moving on to other projects. Of course, going through intensities after the breakup was a part of my learning experience – a part of my story. I have grown through it and discovered a lot about myself; unresolved issues and losses from the past, fears and perceptions of love etc. But today, as I felt feelings of nostalgia, I noticed I was making it heavier for myself. It was a nostalgia tainted by resistance and fear, twisting reality by solely focusing on and aggravating the loss.
But you know what? The truth is that in my heart, I feel nothing but love for all that was, and now more than ever for what is. Beyond the mind’s experience of loss and missing, there is only love and openness. Similar to how it feels to honor a cast for having put together such a brilliant story that has engaged me till the end, I do feel the same way deep down about my past relationship, about the two awesome “co-stars” we were to this chapter of our lives. We have been programmed to associate a parting of the ways with so much negativity, hatred, devastation and the belief that it is an end to love… that we forget it is just a transformation of roles.
“Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.” – Dr. Seuss
If anyone reading this is going through some form of loss, I know how challenging it can be. Strangely, this breakup has brought me as deep as reflecting on and experiencing emotions of deep loss and grieving related to death. But no matter what loss is experienced, what I have learned is that to find the love in it quicker, we need to give up resisting the process. Grieve, cry, love, hurt… but don’t make yourself harden by it (like I’ve done several times), let yourself soften by it. Don’t just think of the love that was, feel the love that is. See what is left after all resistance and resentment is gone… You may find that it isn’t what happens that causes so much suffering, it’s what we say to ourselves about what happens.
I know the end of a TV series can seem like a ridiculous comparison, but think about it: how would 2 cast members from a series that no longer airs react if they saw each other again? Would the connection and love be any less? Would the memories become an awkward subject? Of course not! Now maybe some drama or mind stories still interfere between some exes and that’s alright, but I can assure you that in our natural state, seeing an old friend you’ve once had an intimate relationship would be a wonderful, drama-free and love-filled experience. No hard feelings or walking on eggshells. Same goes if a loved one is no longer in physical form. The form may no longer be accessible but the powerful connection and love between souls is still there. True love does not end.
“There is no such thing as a “break up”, relationships transform, that’s all. Breaking up is just a structure in the mind crumbling away, a story being shattered. And so when two people part ways, if they have held onto the idea of structure, it will feel like something is breaking. When your relationships are not surrounded by your labels and ideas about it… what is there to break? Relationships transform, but love and connection is never broken.”
Instead of dwelling solely on the perspective of loss, I now chose to let myself feel it as it comes but also keep this higher, more loving and allowing perspective. It represents a lot more of how I truly feel, as opposed to when I over-think and define change. Right now, I feel love. Love for what I am learning, love for myself, love for him, love for the memories, love for now, love for what is to come, love for life. It is actually quite exciting to step into a new chapter of my life, and I am looking forward to all the new “co-stars” I might meet. I know nothing real can really be lost; only the form in which love appears changes. Remember, we’re all “actors” here. We all play roles, we’re all playmates. It is helpful to remember this, drop our masks once in a while and look into our soul… we will find that our soul is the same essence that dwells in everyone else.
“In every moment of our lives, there seems to be two different versions of reality taking place. One, is the surface reality and it is where who you think yourself to be exists as the main character in the movie of your life. It is in this surface reality where you interact with the other characters, make choices, and advance your storyline. Deeper than this surface reality, yet always existing within it, remains a spiritual reality. This reality remains peaceful and unmoved by the actions and reactions of the surface reality. It views the characters in the surface reality as various messengers delivering the wisdom of the spiritual reality, so the characters can learn exactly what each has been brought to learn in every scene of life’s vivid movie. It is from this spiritual reality where one might imagine the soul resides, with one’s lifetime serving as an interactive way for the soul to impart its wisdom to a world of characters. The characters we think we are deliver soul wisdom and create experiences for one another, and reap the rewards by becoming more conscious. To become more conscious, is to realize what you are, underneath the surface of form, and beyond all thoughts and ideas.” - Matt Kahn