Long, long ago, in a galaxy far, far away, a woman I thought was my friend asked me to go with her to a counselling appointment for support. She was dealing with issues stemming from abuse in her childhood and said she was feeling very alone and vulnerable. I didn’t think twice about it. She asked for support, so I went.
The office was unusually small, as in shoe box sized. It was crowded in there with the three of us, my friend, the therapist, and myself. I distinctly remember feeling like there wasn’t room for me. I felt awkward just sitting there. It smelled like dried flowers. Walking in, I remember the look on the therapist’s face. I didn’t know what it was at the time, but in hindsight, it was sympathy. She knew what was coming. I didn’t.
My friend started by sharing her newly uncovered revelations about her childhood abuse. Then she talked about how those experiences had made her careless as an adult especially when it came to men and sex. Then without warning, she confessed to sleeping with my husband. These days I refer to him as my practice husband. At the time, it was a lot more personal.
I distinctly recall feeling exactly nothing, as in not a single thing. I stared straight ahead at the wall. There in front of me was a framed handwritten list of the seven principles of Huna Philosophy. One in particular, jumped off the page at me like a life ring for a drowning person in a stormy ocean.
My friend and the therapist talked nervously, waiting for me to say something. When I asked for a tissue from her desk, they both seemed relieved, expecting the tears to start and the dam to break. However, instead of crying, I fumbled through my purse for a pen and used that tissue to write on. I copied everything from that framed handwritten list. I put it in my purse and walked out. Looking back, it kind of seems like a very bad ass move, not to break, just to walk out an ounce of drama. At the time it was reflexive.
In flash, I realized it didn’t matter if she’d slept with him. I realized on a very deep level I wasn’t happy with anything about him, and by that measurement, I didn’t really love him and hadn’t for a very long time. It was this deep and calm feeling of no harm, no foul.
To be fair it wasn’t exactly a newsflash that my marriage was in trouble. In fact, at the time we were separated. She wasn’t the only person he’d been with. I’m guessing she just needed to get it off her chest so good for her for setting it up so neatly. Looking back on that whole hour of my life, I’m grateful because what I got was a compass point that works in my life still to this day, that had nothing to do with her or my practice husband.
To love is to be happy with. Simply put, that means I can’t love someone I’m trying to change. It means I can’t love through suffering. It means that my happiness is an indicator of a sacred kind of acceptance, and if that’s not there, I can’t delude myself into believing love is.
I see a lot of people staying unhappy telling themselves it’s about love. I think that’s the definition of insanity. Contrary to popular belief there are no medals for suffering. Unhappy journeys don’t have happy endings. Love isn’t painful. Self-sacrifice for the sake of “love” is a form of self-mutilation. Needing someone to change for you to be happy is abusive.
After my exit from the therapist's office, I went to the car and waited for my “friend”. She came out about half an hour later. She didn’t look at all surprised to see me sitting on the curb by the car. I drove her home. Gave her a hug and never saw her face to face again. I see her around the Facebook block from time to time. I still feel exactly nothing. No harm, no foul. No anger. No regrets. Just a person I once knew, who slept with a man I didn’t really love.
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Lisa Hayes, The Love Whisperer, is an LOA Relationship Coach. She helps clients leverage Law of Attraction to get the relationships they dream about and build the lives they want. Lisa is the author of the newly released hit book, Score Your Soulmate and How to Escape from Relationship Hell and The Passion Plan.
Posted on 08/07/2014 at 12:00:00 AM