Leave With Grace

1. My mother used to say to me, don’t get your tail stuck in the door. She meant that natural transitions occur. You were in that relationship, that job, that situation because prior to the patina, the disillusionment, there was a light you went toward. You did that. No matter what happened—the deceptions you discovered, the bad behavior, the trickery—you made that choice. And as you exit, if you want to take all of you with you, own that decision til the end (even if you want to drop it like a hot potato).

2. When you look at their face in utter disbelief knowing that yes, you once crawled and pined for this, this person with a stain on their shirt and egg on their face, asking yourself how you fell for their antics, tell yourself this, “I came even for this.” When you own this, you trade the relief of explosive righteousness for true dignity. Leave with that tail neither stuck in the door nor between your legs.

3. Let the experience guru write your revisionist’s history. There will be many who apply for the job: Vendetta Girl, Lady Snark, Woe-is-me Betty. Don’t hire them. They are terrible, like 50-Shades-of-Grey-predictable serial writers. No matter the situation, they write the same old story with the same bitter ink.

4. The wince or the pinch of regret or loss arises, track it back. Track it back to the choice you made. They went out on you? Did you not suspect from the second you saw them that they didn’t just employ those charms on you? Could you sense a fundamental insecurity in them that needed attention at all times and the fact that you slept meant that they were deficient of attention for 8 hours a day? Did you override your internal alarm system? Why? Why would you do that? To have love? Did it deliver? Nothing cures a broken heart like sober self-examination and the realization that you’re the one who dropped it, and you’re the one who can put it back together—this time with gold holding it together.

5. Write the 100, 500, or 1,000 things big and small that you got from, learned from, changed inside of, and grew with this relationship. That is how you extract the benefit and bring it with you wherever you go. Don’t leave it back there mixed in with the garbage. Take what is rightfully yours. It will give you the resilience to live the 300 prayer promises you made in the pain of the relationship, “If you get me out of this, I will…”

6. A hard one. Rejection keeps you in, does not get you out of, a relationship. That place where you want to inject hate, anger, vitriol in order to hold the boundary so that you really go this time. That just injects poison, like dye, throughout your bloodstream.

7. Erykah Badu had a great song, “I guess I’ll see you next lifetime.” Keep this attitude with all, primarily because it’s true, and you will. But because located in that idea is the code for how to keep yourself out of unnecessary suffering. More pain is caused by short-term thinking and the actions we take as a result than need be. This lifetime, there was an attraction, and the two personalities (I know, I know, theirs more than yours) were not prepared to have the epic collision into infinite love that this was meant to be. Patience is not merely a virtue, it keeps doors open in the right way.

8. Because we live in a world that was not given the 3D goggles that can see the reality that we are constructed of Love at all times, we often miss the fact that we are just riding karmic rivers like salmon. Break-ups, splits, and endings are often natural occurrences made unnatural due to our clinging. We stay past the expiration date. It sours and makes us sick to our stomach. Then we call that love. Nah, just learn to let go when you first hear the call, and a lot of vomiting things up will be averted.

9. You know that place where you feel bad, you feel some shame about your own behavior, you just plain don’t want to feel this ache in your heart and you spit some bad, as in literally bad, rhymes at the other. You just become a jerk and try to guilt them out or blame them out or justify you out of this pain? Don’t do that. There’s a sweetness in a shared pain, even when the pain is about the person you are sharing it with. And, you won’t have to wake up a year from now, when perhaps the door opens again, and feel regret that you can’t walk back through it because of all the crap you left in the door.

10. Do the equivalent of hanging garlic on any kind of absolute: I will never speak to them again. I will hate them forever. I’ll show them and then burn down their house. Those things suck your own lifeblood.

11. Don’t prevent the only thing that will bring relief from flowing in, the healing powers of life force that come from following the invisible thread and not always being so damned reactive to the television of appearances.

12. It’s okay to sneak into the basement of your soul, feel the love that remains unchanged, and still leave.

13. You don’t have to make the last place you were into something bad in order to go to the next. Leave in a blaze of glory, that this last relationship was so successful, so fantastic at bringing exactly what you needed that you are ready to move into the next. Thank you last relationship! You really showed me what I want and what I don’t want and took me on an adventure. I’m on to the next and I bid you well. Then look up, see desire in the taxi waiting for you, look it straight in the eye, and let it take you to the next place you’re headed.

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