I’ve been blessed with many relationships that have all served important purposes in my life and this last one was no exception. I’ve walked away from all of them, even (and maybe especially) from the dysfunctional ones, stronger than I was when I entered them. And as I’ve grown, matured, deepened my spiritual practice and lived a sober life, I’ve been able to gain even more clarity around myself and myself in relation to others. Through this work, I’ve also been able to move further and further from codependency.

I was chatting with a friend yesterday and sharing about my most recent break-up. “But you looked so happy in those pictures!” she said. She wasn’t the only one to say that, either. The truth is: I was happy in those pictures that were taken a week or two before we broke up. I was deeply and genuinely happy. I was also becoming more acutely aware, as was my partner I believe, that we weren’t moving along on the same path. We had fun together and he helped to bring my inner child out to play. I was smiling and joyous in those pictures because I and my little girl were having a good time. We were doing things my inner child hasn’t ever done before, not even when she was a small (because of her acute shyness and perfectionism), such as taking pictures with total strangers dressed up in crazy costumes, dancing and singing in the car, and laughing at many of life’s twists and turns.

Alternately, though, there were things between us that couldn’t be reconciled, as is the case in many relationships. We just couldn’t find our footing together, so to speak. I love him and he loves me and yet…

Ultimately, we were able to consciously release the relationship and it was a beautiful and loving break-up. We were communicating as the two people who love one another and who want the best for one another and for ourselves. There was no anger, no blaming, no trying to make one another feel at fault or wrong. We didn’t allow the relationship to overstay its welcome and we didn’t move into fear and defensiveness. It felt clean and it still does. Unlike in past break-ups, I don’t feel either of us trying to hold onto the other. There is no energetic pulling, clawing, manipulating or forcing of anything. It just feels – clean. And that has allowed me to grieve in a way that feels pure. The tears come and they flow and then I move forward. I’m not being held back by stuff – I don’t feel stuck and overwhelmed by my emotions. This is HUGE for me!

I so so so want to meet a man that I can develop a deep and lasting bond with. I want to experience intimacy at one year, five years, 20 years and beyond. I want to be able to continue to navigate deeper and deeper waters with someone. I think I had a lot to learn, though, before I could get to an emotional set point that could handle that. It’s taken me a lot of healing and so much introspection that at times it’s dizzying. I also don’t want to compromise my potential for growth or that of my significant other by staying in a relationship that doesn’t ultimately allow us each to fully flourish.

And it feels good to recognize that even though I love my now ex-boyfriend and that there wasn’t anything “wrong” in our relationship, we both honor one another enough to recognize that we aren’t the best other half for each other and that to stay together any longer would only hold us back from moving forward both independently and hopefully with someone else better suited for each of us. I feel blessed and my life was enriched by this relationship. I also feel even more clear about what I hope to create moving forward and inspired to continue to do the work I need to do to find my forever person.