“There comes a day when you realize turning the page is the best feeling in the world, because you realize there is so much more to the book than the page you were stuck on.” Zayn Malik
I hate endings.
I hate when the movie A Star is Born ends.
I hate when a lunch date ends.
I hate when a pot of Indian sambar in the fridge ends.
I hate when a cup of tart frozen yogurt I’m eating ends.
And, for sure, I hate when a relationship ends.
Like I said, I hate endings.
And when you hate endings, you try your hardest to hold onto the ending.
If it’s a movie, you can replay or rewind it.
If it’s a pot of delicious tofu curry, you can water it down and have more of it.
And if it’s a relationship, you can do one of two things.
You can prolong the end by trying your hardest to hold onto it, avoiding your partner’s attempt to break it off.
Or…you can simply end it and continue holding onto your relationship in your heart and soul.
You can hold onto the relationship in your mind and consciousness, replaying the highlights of that relationship over and over again.
When my relationship ended, I did all these things.
I stayed in the relationship way too long. We did every single thing we could to avoid breaking up…until it got to a breaking point.
And I continued to imagine that this relationship still existed even after I’d gotten out of it.
I replayed our trips to Lake Tahoe, our honeymoon to Kerala, our first trip to Las Vegas and Disneyland, our many conversations on Skype, my secret trip to India to visit her months after we met.
I continued replaying these memories because they felt good and when I had these memories, I felt good.
Like I mentioned last week, memories of the past are soothing and comfortable.
The past is like a cup of hot chocolate or a warm blanket as you sit by the fireplace on a rainy night.
Who would ever want to let go of these warm and comfortable memories?
Yet, to move on with my life, I had to find ways to do exactly that.
I had to let go of these memories so I could move on with my life!
Although it took years of reading, therapy, spiritual discoveries, meditation, learning and understanding, this concept helped me break through and shift away from the past.
It was this teaching about impermanence by the Buddhist teacher and poet, Thich Nhat Hanh:
“We are often sad and suffer a lot when things change, but change and impermanence have a positive side. Thanks to impermanence, everything is possible. Life itself is possible. If a grain of corn is not impermanent, it can never be transformed into a stalk of corn. If the stalk were not impermanent, it could never provide us with the ear of corn we eat. If your daughter is not impermanent, she cannot grow up to become a woman. Then your grandchildren would never manifest. So instead of complaining about impermanence, we should say, ‘Warm welcome and love live impermanence.’ We should be happy. When we see the miracle of impermanence our sadness and suffering will pass.”
This helped me realize that change and impermanence can be good things.
If life didn’t have endings, we couldn’t have beginnings.
Without winter, there would be no spring.
Without darkness, there would be no light.
Without night, there would be no dawn.
Once I learned this lesson from Thich Nhat Hahn and other spiritual teachers, I started looking at life in a different way.
I could slowly loosen my grip on my past relationship and my marriage because, in its dissolution, I would find discovery and the blooming of new relationships and love.
Growth, understanding, compassion and inner change will fill my life.
In the messiness and complications of a sad ending are the seeds for so many other things to come out of my life.
It was the moment when I realized that practicing law was no longer the thing for me to do.
It was the moment when I realized that I didn’t have to buy into and live the consumerist American dream that everyone around me was living.
It was the moment when I realized that profound spiritual lessons and truths were awaiting me.
So, really, the end was the beginning of change, understanding and growth.
The end was truly the beginning.
This was how I slowly transitioned to present-moment living.
A slow and growing realization that death and endings are the foundations of birth and beginnings.
The idea isn’t to stay stuck on a page. It’s to let go of things that no longer work so you can read the rest of the book.
As the above quote reveals, you can get to the good parts of the book only after you finish the parts that have kept you stuck.
Bottom line: So many good things can come your way but you won’t find them if you don’t let go of the past.
The beautiful thing is, you have the power of choice. You get to decide how to view the impermanence and changes that enter your life.
The Step of Choice is the 4th step in my new book, The Sacred Art of Letting Go (on sale June 6, 2019).
This is one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned during my journey towards letting go of the past.
And, yes, this letting-go process has a few more steps.
In fact, I discovered 12 steps from spiritual teachers, which I share in The Sacred Art of Letting Go.
I discovered them as I walked the path of getting over my relationship.
Spiritual teachers and writers have talked about them for centuries. I wanted to put, in one place, all these concepts I had experienced and learned.
That’s why I wrote this book.
It reminded me about what it takes to let go. It also serves as a guide for you if you’re in a place where you’re having trouble letting go.
I want you to read this book. Learn from it and grow from it.
Not only do I share my personal experience but I show you how the spiritual teachers and masters of our time help us deal with breakup and change.
I know this book can help you move along your journey and free yourself of the prison of your past. It can help you move on to the life awaiting you.
Pick up The Sacred Art of Letting Go: Walk 12 Steps with Spiritual Masters to Let Go of Past Relationships and Find Peace Today when it goes on sale on June 6th, 2019.