Because breaking up is really really hard to do, you guys.
Ajahn Brahm is pretty much my favourite person on Youtube. His videos are inspiring and accessible, and if you haven’t seen any of his videos yet I highly recommend them. I was recently watching his video about letting go. We all have our challenges, and being able to move on and let go of grudges and pain is important to living a happy and successful life. The one challenge I think everyone can attest to experiencing is letting go of love.
Getting over a breakup is hard. But with a little help from Ajahn Brahm and yours truly, I hope I can make the journey a little more bearable.
Ajahn Brahm’s 4 principles of letting go:
1. Throw things away
Quite literally, make the conscious decision to let go of your relationship. We all have our burdens to bear, but a failed relationship is not one you need to carry with you through life. Imagine yourself filling a balloon with all the hurt, pain, joy and love you felt in your relationship. Feel the good and bad memories of your love leaving your body and inflating your balloon. Then imagine you letting go of the balloon and watching it float up into the most beautiful sky you have ever seen, getting smaller and smaller until it vanishes into nothingness.
If you ever find yourself dwelling on the past – whether it be good or bad memories – inflate a new balloon.
2. Be Content
Understand and believe that where you are at this moment in time is exactly where you are meant to be. When you find yourself fixating on the could have, should have, and would have’s of your relationship, stop your thoughts and repeat, “I want to be here, wherever here happens to be”.
Remember that you broke up for a reason. Maybe you weren’t ready for a relationship. Maybe you wanted different things or shared different values. Whatever the reason, there is a reason. Take this time to grow as a person, and work on aligning who you want to be and who you are. Because when you like who you are, everything else has a funny way of falling into place.
3. Give without expecting anything in return
Demonstrate kindness and love towards your former partner without expecting anything in return and with having absolutely no expectations or demands from them. Think for moment what this means. If you’re tempted to call/text/tweet or even like their status, stop and think why you are doing this. More often than not, it is to benefit yourself. The best way to love them right now is to give them the space and time they need to heal.
Be generous with your time and love towards your family and friends. Work on building a better relationship with yourself, and be grateful for the gifts of life.
4. Have a Teflon mind
Like the non-stick frying pan, don’t allow criticism or compliments to stick in your mind, giving you an inflated or negative sense of self-worth. Be present in the moment and try not to think too much! Easier said than done, I know. I recommend visiting Headspace or the Vajrapani Kadampa Buddhist Centre in Johannesburg if you find yourself overwhelmed by your thoughts.
And my own tip: Love unconditionally.
This is not to say that you should love someone so obsessively that your own cup runs dry. But rather, love your own imperfect being so much that your cup spills over with joy and happiness, and then share that love with others around you. I cannot stress how important it is to love yourself. Take this time to look after your body and soul. This can mean going to the gym regularly, starting a new hobby or taking an active approach towards working on your self-esteem or commitment issues.