Letting Go With Love

March 30th, 2010 by Steve Pavlina

Yesterday was my 12th wedding anniversary. It was also the 16-year anniversary of the day Erin and I first met. And it was one of the most unusual since Erin and I have been separated for more than 5 months now.

Since we both happened to be in the L.A. area on Monday (I was there for a 3-day health conference, and Erin is there for vacation), the two of us decided to get together that day. We didn’t do anything special, just a lunch together at Native Foods in Westwood. After lunch I dropped Erin off and drove back to Vegas.

Although Erin and I see each other often, it’s been a while since we’ve had a chance to sit down and talk one-on-one for a decent length of time. We’ve both been wanting to do this for a while, but we’ve each been very busy pursuing our own individual paths for the past few months.

We spent much of our time together updating each other on how we’ve grown as individuals and what we’ve both learned since we separated. We both have a lot of optimism and a major sense of possibility for the future, but each of us in different ways.

Since separating we’ve each had some huge breakthroughs in our personal growth. Our lives are spinning off in whole new directions. It has been challenging at times but definitely in a good way. A lot of healing has occurred.

Erin and I remain close friends, but now we behave more like cheerleaders for each other. We kept the parts of our relationship that worked well and dropped the parts that weren’t working. While we were married, there was some emptiness in our connection that we couldn’t fill with each other. We each needed to seek out new partners for that. For starters we had to move on from each other emotionally and sexually in order to bring fresh, new experiences into our lives. It was wonderful to acknowledge that we’ve both done that since separating, and it’s been really good for all involved. That’s been a very cleansing/healing process for us. It seems to have cut some kind of cord between us that needed to be cut.

It’s been a bit strange going through this experience with the public aspect. To this day I still get emails from people who don’t know we’re no longer a couple. But heck, some people think I’m still doing polyphasic sleep (seriously), and I stopped that experience in 2006. As a practical matter, it simply isn’t possible to update everyone on every aspect of my life if they only read my blog sporadically.

Our close friends are aware of our situation, and they can all see how good it’s been for us. I’m very grateful for all the love and support we’ve received from our friends, and I know Erin feels that way too. I’m also grateful that I have so many smart friends since their advice was extremely helpful too.

Near the end of our lunch, Erin and I acknowledged that it’s time for us to get working on the legal divorce. It was important for us to separate our lives physically and emotionally first, and I’m glad we’ve done that. Now we’re in a much better place to deal with the challenges of separating the other parts of our lives without getting bogged down in emotional issues. At this point we’re both feeling ready to wrap up the paperwork and move on. Since we still maintain joint finances at the moment, we’ve each been in a place of financial limbo. We both want the freedom of separating our finances and not having to answer to each other for financial decisions. After all, it’s not really fair if one of us wants to spend $5K of our joint money on a solo personal expense. I think that once we complete that process, it’s going to be another big shift/release for us. I think we’ll both feel relieved. Right now neither of us want to take on any substantial new projects because it would mean even more to sort through in order to separate our finances.

That may be a delicate process since neither of us are sure of the best way to disentangle our career and financial lives. To what degree do we keep things interconnected vs. separating them? There’s a huge spectrum of possibilities between continuing to work closely together vs. running completely separate businesses. At this point it really isn’t clear what a good solution would look like, especially as it ties in with our finances. The more we cross-promote each other, the more our finances remain tied together. Ultimately I think we’re just going to have to sit down and review different possibilities and see what feels best to us. But even after we do that, it may take a while to implement the solution we come up with.

We also have to work through the family/kids issues. However, I’m unlikely to discuss this part of our lives in much detail online. When I write about it, I get too much crazy criticism from resentful children of divorced parents (or bitter divorcees) who project their repressed feelings onto our situation without ever having met us or our kids. In the past that aspect has become ridiculous to the point that forum members have been calling it out when people project their own parenting dramas onto us. We don’t need that kind of negativity, so at this point my preference is to work through this part of our lives ourselves and/or with friends who know us well. Maybe at some point I can find a way to share the lessons we learned without triggering certain people so much, but for now I’d prefer to minimize the drama.

Overall our separation is going exceedingly well. Erin and I still get along great, we’re happy, and we’re feeling good about each other’s happiness. It may take our physical reality a while to catch up, but we’ve already moved on in our hearts.

I’m really happy for Erin. I knew going into it that the separation would be harder on her than on me (partly because I had a lot more time to emotionally prepare for it), but I was impressed by how quickly she got through it, thanks in large part to the help of some really great friends who helped her through the emotional disconnection in ways that I could not. I think it would have taken much longer without all the social support we had.

Some people seem stunned that Erin and I have been able to separate as we did, as if bitterness and resentment are a necessary component. Some people actually seem disappointed that we aren’t creating more drama. How is it possible that we’ve been able to let go with love?

I think the main element is that we each have a deep sense of trust in the universe in which we live. We believe this reality is a wonderful place to be. We both have a strong sense of life purpose. We know that whatever challenges we face, we can turn them into lessons to help others, so there’s a greater good to be served by any difficulties we face as individuals. We also care a great deal about each other, about our kids, and about humanity as a whole. So even though we’ve disconnected from each other to a certain degree, we still maintain a strong sense of connectedness and grounding in our lives.

That sense of caring for others also has a lot to do with self-care. Erin and I know that if we don’t take care of ourselves as individuals, we can’t contribute much to others. We would feel burnt out all the time and incapable of giving. We know that it’s important to keep ourselves happy since that’s the best energy for service. If we have no joy in our hearts, how can we help others become happier?

I know that there is an abundance of love in the world. There is an abundance of everything that can be desired. The key is not to get so attached to getting it from one particular aspect of physical reality. Don’t try to control how one element of this reality shares its love with you. It may love you in a way other than how you expect.

Erin and I both still love each other, but the love we’re able to share with each other falls within a certain range of frequencies. We aren’t able to be all things to each other all the time. The good news is that those other frequencies we desire are readily available. We simply needed to open ourselves to receiving and sharing love with different people. That was a very powerful lesson. It didn’t eliminate the love and appreciation we have for each other. It simply got the resentment and neediness out of the way, so the love can flow without resistance.

This was perhaps the most powerful lesson I learned during the past year. I was making the classic mistake of getting attached to a very small range of frequencies of experience. Once I openend myself to the possibilities of giving and receiving love across a much wider spectrum, those frequencies flew into my life so fast it made my head spin. When new desires showed up so quickly and so perfectly, I would be stunned with excitement. Sometimes I’d say out loud, “How is this even possible?” It was too easy. I didn’t have to work for what I wanted. It literally just showed up. That kinda made me feel like a bit of a dunce for saying no to those desires for so many years, all because I bought into the social conditioned model of what a relationship was supposed to look like.

I finally feel “full” in the sense that I no longer have this sense of longing for something better. I’m so much enjoying where  I am right now that my primary intention is simply to continue experiencing what I’m already experiencing… at least for a while. Where I am right now is where I want to be. I love it here. :)

If you’re in a relationship right now, and you’re not quite happy, don’t try to blame your partner for your unhappiness. It’s not their fault. They’re already sharing their love with you through the frequencies where you’re compatible. If that isn’t enough for you, then don’t try to squeeze more juice out of your partner. Instead, acknowledge the areas in which you’re most compatible, and enjoy them. Then acknowledge the areas in which you don’t connect as well, and let those areas go; you can easily find someone else to connect with you in those areas, and it will be a joy to do so.

Letting go with love isn’t about kicking a partner out of your life. It’s about acknowledging the energetic frequencies in which you’re most compatible and choosing to connect in those areas primarily. It’s also about choosing not to force a connection in the areas where your compatibility is weak.

For example, suppose you have absolutely amazing, super deep conversations with someone. But sexually you’re just not attracted to them. Then enjoy the conversations, and don’t try to turn it into a sexual relationship. If you find yourself in such a marriage situation, acknowledge your intellectual and emotional compatibility, and aim to do more of that with your partner. Then acknowledge your lack of sexual connection, and aim to seek out other partners that fill this need for you. That isn’t a betrayal of anyone. It’s just an intelligent way to meet your needs.

Maybe you have a friend that’s really fun to hang out with socially, but intellectually he’s a dud. So go out and have fun with him, but don’t try to get into a deep intellectual conversation, as that would only frustrate you.

Erin and I both enjoy super deep conversations with each other. We care a lot about people and making the world a better place. We both like writing and speaking. We love putting on Conscious Growth Workshops together and hanging out with such amazing people. So we connect in those areas, and it works.

In other ways we just aren’t very compatible. Sexually we don’t connect well. Living together doesn’t quite work for us. We don’t connect in terms of our diet/health practices. We have different travel styles and preferences. When we tried to push ourselves to connect in those ways, it only led to resentment and frustration. Neither of us got the results we wanted. It was too much work for too little reward. One of us would try to make a change, and the other would undo it. Very little progress was being made. For the most part we were just spinning our wheels.

So we just let go of all that. Now we pick up those missing frequencies from other people or simply from being on our own. This has been absolutely wonderful. I’ve found it almost unbelievable how easy it is to connect with someone in a frequency range where compatibility is high.

Realize that you aren’t doing anyone any favors by holding back. You’re actually being selfish with your love, trying to direct it all at one person who can’t even receive all that you’re putting out. Other people are happy to share loving experiences with you as well. There is no need to deny them the opportunity to connect with you.

When frequencies are incompatible, you get resistance. When frequencies are compatible, you get this beautiful sense of flow and joy. If you’re stuck on the resistance side, you may not even be able to imagine how good the flow and joy side feels. It would seem unfathomably easy because you’re so used to struggle and effort to get your needs met.

This was a difficult lesson to learn, but it’s been a golden one to be sure. I can’t see myself wanting to deal with such resistance again. If I find myself in a relationship where there’s strong resistance due to incompatibility in some area, I’d simply accept and release that part of the relationship instead of trying to force it to be what I want. I’d rather love each person as they are. If I want to manifest an experience that one person doesn’t want to share with me, there will always be someone else with a compatible desire, and all I need to do is attract that person into my life to share it.

I’d encourage you to make a list of the 5-10 people in your life with whom you spend the most time. Then next to each person’s name, make two short lists: 1) a list of the areas and activities in which you’re most compatible, and 2) a list of the areas in which you’re least compatible. Then look at your lists, and acknowledge each person for who they are. Don’t try to connect in all ways with every person.

Another key distinction I’ve noticed is the connection between domination-submission and compatibility. Compatibility appears to be highest in areas where one person is much more dominant, and the other person is more submissive. This doesn’t mean that the same person is dominant in all compatible areas, just that someone is clearly in a dominant role.

For example, in areas of high compatibility, one person may be like a teacher or mentor to the other. Or one person may act as a guide or simply take the lead most of the time. One person directs the frequency shifts, and the other person enjoys the ride.

This was true in my relationship with Erin. In the areas that worked best for us, one of us took the lead, and the other was willing to follow. When things didn’t work out, either we were both trying to be dominant (which led to butting heads), or we both tried to be submissive (which led to neglect). This is another perspective on why we separated. There were important parts of our lives where we each wanted to be the dominant one, but we each had different ideas as to how to proceed.

As an example, I wanted our family to follow a whole foods vegan diet. At one point I rounded up and threw out every item in our kitchen that wasn’t a whole food. After we separated and I saw Erin’s kitchen, it was obvious that she prefers a non-whole foods diet. For her, convenience foods are more important because she doesn’t like to cook as much. For me energy, vitality, mental alertness, and creativity are more important, so I love to make raw meals with other people who have similar values. In the past I would have tried to make her wrong for her choice because it was the opposite of what I wanted. But now it’s easier to accept that she is eating the way she wants. Her diet is hers to choose, and I’m glad that I’m finally in a position to give her that kind of space without it having negative consequences for my own dietary path. This also gives me room to do a lot more experimenting on my own without overburdening my family. I attended a 3-day health conference this past weekend, and I have lots more ideas for future experiments. It’s so wonderful to be able to dive right in without having to negotiate with my family first about the likely consequences to them. I really need that freedom to experiment; otherwise I feel like my whole lifestyle is being stunted.

This growth process has shown me that many people are in desperate need of more conscious relationship models to counteract the shallow, rigid, or hopeless models they pick up from social conditioning. Like many others I grew up in a family that had a relationship model I shunned. It was plain as day that the way my parents related to each other wasn’t for me. But I lacked good alternative role models, so all I could do was stumble forward blindly. It’s my hope that some of my stumbling may benefit you, perhaps giving you ideas you can use to create a more conscious relationship than your parents had as well.

I can tell you this. Whatever I’m doing, it seems to be working because I’m very happy right now, and I’m super optimistic about my future path. Erin is happy and optimistic as well. We’re almost done with the first quarter of this year, and it’s amazing how much has shifted since the start of the year. Life feels immensely rewarding.

If you don’t have that kind of feeling in your life right now, why not open yourself to it? Let go of all the guilt, fear, and resentment that have been holding you back. Recognize that life is abundant and that the universe is eager to provide all that you need. You just need to get your limiting beliefs out of the way. Don’t make the mistake of trying to manifest FM music with an AM radio. Let your manifestations (including the people in your life) be as they are. If you want new experiences, be willing to receive them from anywhere. Don’t try to force them into a particular form. Choosing the form is the universe’s job. Your job is simply to hold the general desire for the range of frequencies you wish to experience next.

Letting go with love is an important part of this process. In order to invite new experiences into our lives, we must shed the old ones. Notice where the energy of your life has gotten stale, and make the decision to let go. Then open yourself to fresh, new frequencies. They will come into your life.


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