“They constantly told me that my first love would be a handsome boy who’d save me or a pretty girl who’d hold me. So I searched the world for another, never knowing that my first love should have been me.”

“Surrender to the pain,” my yoga instructor said as I lay in paralysis during savasana. Although I was one of roughly thirty students in the class, I felt like she was speaking directly to me. I had taken a 10 month vacation from yoga and ironically the same length of the relationship that had now resulted in a splitting of hearts. The pain she spoke to was the result of that. The type of pain that can linger for all too long. What we resist persists, so I sunk deeper into my mat as I accepted permission to just feel what needed to be felt. This was exactly where I needed to be as I began the reconstruction on my heart.

So I attended the same class a couple of times per week. With every class she spoke words that were exactly what I needed to hear. A new lesson about love, a tale of patience and surrender, and every so often a guided meditation that walked me down another path of surrender. This journey was not without challenges. I have friends that keep me more than accountable, so my path to “becoming a yogi”, as my friends referred to it, was accompanied with jokes about my pants getting more tapered and the music I was listening to becoming increasingly indie. Apparently as I recovered from a breakup I was going to find myself as a hipster. There are certain outcomes of growth we can just never be ready for.

“A Quiet mind is one that’s listened to.”

As the days and weeks went by my loneliness dissipated, and what was once a busy mind became increasingly silent. My heart began to sing a brighter tune. I was doing everything that nurtured my soul and allowed me to connect with who I was at my core. There were of course times when the bottom of an empty pint glass seemed to house enlightenment and happiness, which quickly brought the realization that I only think I am smarter when I’m drunk and “to be or not to be” became “to pee or not to pee”.

Despite the occasional pub night I got back to all of the things I loved: conversations with friends, exercise, and philosophical discussions with my father on a daily basis. It was in this state that I realized, why was I not doing all of these things while I was in my relationship? In thinking I was compromising activities and events that nurtured my soul was for the betterment of the relationship, I had been doing the exact opposite. It is through our love for ourselves that we can fully love others.

Ask yourself the following:

1. Do you forego things that you love, time with your friends, or even time alone to spend time with a partner?
2. Is your relationship feeling like it’s taking away from your passion and love instead of feeding it?

Immersing ourselves in new found relationship can be elating. We can get lost in the desire to spend abundant amounts of time with the other and the growth of our souls together. What’s important is that through this we still honour what we need. I am constantly learning this balance. When I don’t honour what I need I start to resent the relationship I’m in, even though I have made the choices that have resulted in this. This resentment doesn’t always show itself consciously, it can manifest in little arguments, being short with one another, and ultimately the breakdown of the relationship.

So how do we manage this? How do we create a relationship where our partners don’t feel rejected when we need time alone or with people other than them? First, know that you are accountable to your needs and communicating them, not your partner. We need to talk about the things we need individually so that we can come together in an unlimited way. Discuss what YOUR priorities are. Tell each other what you love to do alone, together, and what YOU need to be able to fully immerse yourself in your relationship. It is through doing the things that we love that we fill our cup and can pour it into the relationship. Ultimately what results is an environment where nurturing each other and ourselves is an understood priority. Spending time alone and doing the things we love is in essence what recharges our “love battery”.

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