by Kara-Leah Grant, Musings from the Mat
I’m shaken to write this article barely three weeks after exploring the concept of loving without attachment.
In that article, I faced squarely into the possibility of losing my man in order to let go of the fear and attachment I had around our love.
And yesterday morning, my man packed his bags and left. Not because he doesn’t love me deeply – he does – but because he can’t take on my son as well.
Stepping into a parenting situation with a three year old is a huge challenge – not only is it a challenging age for children, but becoming a parent triggers all our unresolved issues with our own parents and family of origin.
When you’re faced with sudden parenthood, it can be all too much.
This I understand. So I listened to my man. I challenged him on some aspects, and I heard him out. I see where he is and what’s going on for him and how incredible difficult it is and what’s coming up with him. So after he’d spoken his piece about why he was leaving, I said:
I stood in the kitchen, arms wrapped around myself, breathing mindfully, watching the day awaken, and felt all the emotions coursing through my body.
When he finished packing and walked out, he couldn’t look at me. But I choose to look at him fully, with love, to stay present and accept the moment we were in. At the last instant, because I’d asked him, he turned back and hugged me. We stood, bodies pressed against each other, breathing each other in, and then he was gone.
I walked back inside the house and let the tears fall. As I cried, a silent mantra played inside.
I can do this. I can do this. I can do this.
And I can. I love this man deeply. And that means I allow him to be him completely. I see him, and I accept him.
I don’t know what will happen from here. I don’t know if he will want to face into the issues coming up for him. I don’t know if he will want to take on a young child.
All I can do is stay present to my experience.
Yesterday, that was literally a breath by breath challenge. I had to keep asking myself, amidst the distress and tears;
Ok, what do I need to do now? What do I need to do now?
Often it was something small, like eat. It’s difficult for me to digest food when I’m emotionally upset but I also know I have to look after my body, so I focused on densely nutritious food that was easy for my belly. I made myself a spiralina juice. I snacked on nuts and fruit. Later, I was able to make salad for a late lunch.
I took Samuel and I for a beautiful walk in nature. We went to the park. I spoke to friends. I did my yoga practice.
By 7pm, I was able to do 90 minutes of work. Then it was a bath, and meditation at bedtime. I’d made it through the first day.
Today of course is different – I woke up with a dull ache in my heart and a sadness in my belly.
I didn’t want to get out of bed. So I slept for longer, dreaming I was being chasing by lions. At the moment when I realised there was no hope and they were going to get me, I realised it was a dream and all I had to do was face into them. So I turned and faced down the lions and they disappeared into thin air.
Such is life. It too is a dream. The things we run from, the things we fear, the things we attempt to protect ourselves from… they disappear into thin air when we turn and face them squarely.
The night before Leighton left, I’d faced into one of my biggest fears with him – that of totally being myself and being rejected or left because of it. I felt like I’d had a major relationship break through. We experienced a degree of emotional and physical intimacy I’ve never had in relationship before – there was both deep love and a deep degree of truth.
So the next morning, when the stress of a child become too much for him and he walked out, I was feeling clear, calm and certain. I was in my power. There was no hysterics or attempts at emotional manipulation. After questioning him about what was going on, listening to his responses with my whole body, I accepted the situation.
All relationships have conflict as situations invariably trigger our issues. It’s unavoidable.
Leighton and I had spoken about it – we knew it was going to happen. In fact, it had been happening all week and we’d successfully faced into a few things and come through stronger and more intimate.
This is how conscious relationship function. There is love, truth and freedom. Deep love for the other, total truth of the Self, and freedom to each be who you are.
When conflict comes up, it’s much easier when only one person is triggered, and the other is able to hold their loving, honest centre and listen and reflect back to the other person.
That’s what happened yesterday morning. The situation didn’t trigger me at all. I was able to stay in my centre, I was able to listen, I was able to keep my heart open despite the pain and discern the truth of the situation.
It’s a hard-won ability, honed from many years of relationships – difficult, confounding, and confusing relationships. To finally step into this one with Leighton was incredible. There is so much love and honesty, and so much real intimacy.
That love, honesty and intimacy has meant that in the unfolding of this conflict, we’ve kept the lines of communication open.
We’ve listened to each other. We’re feeling our way through. Mostly, we’re acknowledging what each of us owns in the situations – the changes I need to make and the changes he needs to make. There is no blaming the other, only a discernment of what’s arising for each of us.
This is the nature of relationship. It always provides us with an opportunity to see our stuff – and heal and release that stuff.
When we’re willing to turn and face square into it, when we’re willing to own what’s ours, when we’re willing to keep showing up with love to each other.
This may be an ending for Leighton and I. Or it could be the real beginning of our relationship. I don’t know yet. Right now, it’s almost an hour by hour, day by day unfolding. The uncertainty is… certain.
Such is the true nature of life. And it’s a place I’m comfortable with now – uncertainty doesn’t phase me. Intense emotions don’t phase me. Arising issues, shadow selves, ego defences… none of it phases me.
This is life.
This is love.