An Open Letter To My Ex-Boyfriend

Girl on beach full of joy
Boris Yankov

Thank you for being exactly what I needed; not what I wanted.

For ten years I loved you more than I loved myself. Seeing you intermittently over the seven years we were apart after college, it was like we didn’t skip a beat. Kindred spirits. But my ache for you was still there and I knew something more was to unfold out of us. 

When we got back together after all those years later, I thought you were “the one”. It turns out we did not come back together to get married, buy a house and have two children. Thankfully, we did not make an irreversible mistake. 

Our paths crossed again for a very important purpose. To create the divine storm that would rock me to the core so I could finally break open to myself.

You could see my golden heart, my courage, the wild fire inside me and you believed in me – the first lover to ever say it. You were both scared and enamored by my magic, and how fierce I loved, but you weren’t ready to jump into the sea with me and leave dry land for the enchanted world. In the end you weren’t ready because I wasn’t ready. I hadn’t fully dived into my own destiny yet. I was still a mermaid living on dry land, too, flailing around in a mediocre world I didn’t fit into.

You were my perfect partner because you were my perfect mirror. All that time I grasped for your love and attention and desperately needed you to fill me up and make me whole, you were unavailable. I always needed more. You were silent when you shouldn’t have been. You withheld when you could have given generously. You couldn’t love me as big as I needed to be loved. Not because you were not capable of being pure unconditional love but because I had no idea that unconditional love was inside me and something I needed to give myself before I could receive it from you – or anyone. No amount of love outside of me could have filled up the lack of love I was giving myself. But I had yet to realize this so I banged my fists on your chest and begged and pleaded for you to change, to be who I wanted you to be.

 You reflected back to me the places I didn’t know were inside me that were deeply wounded. The places my soul was screaming for me to see so I could heal them in this lifetime and remember who I really was beneath my armor of fear, anger and conflict – my ego’s weapons to block me from the love and connection I so deeply desired.

I know I wasn’t easy to love because you saw my unhealed darkness, but you loved me because you also saw my light.

Because of you my first true lesson learned was that I could be right or I could be happy. I began to stop and listen to my raging, racing, suspicious mind and realized I had a choice in the moments you were not being who I wanted you to be – that you were being who I needed you to be so that I could see my stuff – and begin to choose differently. To choose peace instead of war. To choose love over fear. To choose my higher self over my insane ego.

I realized that none of it had anything to do with you – my rage and battle was one against myself. Every time I judged or blamed you, I was actually attacking myself, hurting me, angry at me. Because I was giving all of my power away to you – as the source of my love, happiness, excitement, fulfillment. And my ego made you wrong, so that it could continue to hide in me and control my thoughts and actions and keep me as the victim of you – while you stood there, innocent, just being yourself. Perfectly imperfect.

This time four years ago we were breaking up. The day it ended I felt like I was going to die, as if a drug was being taken away from me. What I didn’t know was that I was beginning to experience my first death – the death of my ego, my fear, the illusions I was shackled in for decades and lifetimes, chains around my heart that were about to unlock. 

I was brought to my knees, and I never could have imagined what was waiting for me when my heart broke and I finally cracked wide open. 

Because of you I found the greatest love. To my surprise, it wasn’t in you but in me. My soul chose you as the perfect assignment, the perfect soul mate to end my suffering by placing you in front of me to show me all of my neuroses, my addiction to romantic love outside of me, and to heal my deep fear of being alone because I had mistakenly been living my entire life thinking I was entirely alone – when in truth, I had more support inside and all around me than I could have ever imagined was possible. 

I’ve learned that the more powerful we are, the more hijacked we will be by the ego that will fight to stay alive and in control through our addiction to fear, pain and suffering. The area in which we experience the most challenge is the same area in which we will become the most empowered in, when we slay our dragons. 

I fought for us and held on for dear life because there was nothing scarier than pioneering into the unknown. Weightless, groundless, uncertainty. Without you. Thank you for lovingly letting me go so I could fly. 

I remember when we sat in bed our hearts pounding in fear of the imminent change and you wisely and prophetically said, “maybe our relationship wasn’t meant to fit in a box.”

Thank you for not saving me and rescuing me from my pain and problems. Healing the layers of my fear that this relationship brought to the surface not only set me free from my addiction to your love and unraveled relationship patterns that had been knocking me down for years, but it revealed to me who I really was, that I had the power in me all along. Before I was a shadow of who I really was. The light came in through the crack you made in my heart and you didn’t save me – it saved me. My light saved me. 

Our relationship healed and transformed into one that’s based on holy love, not ego love or romantic love. Because of you I know what this looks like and feels like and it has evolved my soul light-years beyond where I was when I came into this world.

I know now that love never dies; relationships are eternal; they live in us forever. Love is who we are and in the end love is the only truth of every relationship. Nothing real dies; it only changes form. 

Thank you for being one of my greatest teachers.Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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