Even in the most difficult situations, there are lessons to gain—in loss, in grief. Our favorite outlaw shares his break up story and the gifts of his pain.
It would be a pleasant fiction to think that mindfulness can always solve our problems before they happen. Imagine if heightened awareness could allow you to see all of your future failures and shortcomings and steer you away from them before they cause you any discomfort or suffering. What an existence that would be.
Unfortunately, significant growth does not occur without adversity. We need challenges. We need our weaknesses to stare us straight in the face and dare us to turn them into strengths.
Justin Kaliszewski, The Outlaw Yogi, realizes this principle, that being present in the most difficult moments offers the most opportunity to grow; and he teaches it whether he is pushing his students in yoga class or writing about life and love to share his own development with others.
He documented his most recent break-up for elephant journal, letting us into a painful experience to explain why it was necessary and mindful. Incredibly, he claims to be proud to have been involved in this parting of ways.
The Break Up
He explains that his relationship with his ex was a good one. They treated each other well, even when the relationship was not fulfilling for them anymore, but they realized that they were growing apart. Their hopes and expectations were not the same, and they weren’t as appreciative to have each other as they had once been.
The problem was that neither of them had a good excuse to break up with the other, but together they came to understand that having no glaring reason to define the relationship as bad did not mean that what they had was great.
A Different Approach
Prompted by the harrowing examples of their parents’ marriages, they decided that ending their relationship was for the best. It meant allowing each other to seek the right person and express their love fully. The break-up was a mindful one, done with honesty and fidelity and without slowing descending into misery; but that did not make it easy for Justin and his ex to accept. Something good had to end to make room for something better.
Enlightened states of presence are not always a picnic on a sunny day.
So Justin had to make an extremely difficult decision in order to grow; and he encourages us to do the same, not end our relationships, necessarily, but embrace the moments where being mindful means suffering a bit. He implores us not to fear change, not to be on the defensive against pain unless we are willing to risk shutting out the whole spectrum of experience and never to hold back on giving love.
Read more about the Outlaw’s journey here.[image: via louiscrusoe on flickr]