The Hardest Part.

As some of you may know, this past fall I went through a breakup, which I talked about a bit in this post. I haven’t really shared much more since — only touching on it here and there — partly because it felt weird to address as it was happening, and also because I wasn’t sure if I had any perspective or wisdom on the matter, other than the fact that it sucked.

In some ways, I still feel like I’m in the thick of it, so I was hesitant to even write this. It’s been really hard for several reasons. We live in the same small town, share many of the same friends, and although our relationship ended, it feels like nothing else has changed.

“One of the difficulties of leaving a relationship is not so much, at the end, leaving the person themselves — because, by that time, you’re ready to go,” says David Whyte perfectly, “what’s difficult is leaving the dreams that you shared together. And you know that somehow — no matter who you meet in your life in the future, and no matter what species of happiness you would share with them — you will never, ever share those particular dreams again, with that particular tonality and coloration. And so there’s a lovely and powerful form of grief there that is the ultimate of giving away but making space for another form of reimagination.

Those words have been a huge source of comfort for me. I realized that I had painted a very specific and very vivid story in my mind of how our lives were to unfold together (a wedding by the sea, waffles on Sundays, long walks through the woods, etc), and that story still feels so alive and intact. When I think about what Whyte says, about a lovely form of grief, of honoring that story while making room for a new one, I can feel myself letting it go, bit by bit.

I wanted to share this not just for those of you who might be going through a breakup, or a tough time with a current relationship, but for anyone who has constructed a story or dream– detailed and lovingly crafted in your mind, only to see it go untold. That’s so many of us, right?


Above the mountains
the geese turn into
the light again

Painting their
black silhouettes
on an open sky.

Sometimes everything
has to be
inscribed across
the heavens

so you can find
the one line
already written
inside you.

Sometimes it takes
a great sky
to find that

first, bright
and indescribable
wedge of freedom
in your own heart.

Sometimes with
the bones of the black
sticks left when the fire
has gone out

someone has written
something new
in the ashes of your life.

You are not leaving.
Even as the light fades quickly now,
you are arriving.

-David Whyte

Image from The Happy Hunter’s Blog. Poem via Brainpickings.

5 thoughts on “The Hardest Part.

  1. looove this post! I’ve never been in a long term relationship, but I tend to
    idealize someone way too much, projecting what I think or wish of someone to be, rather than honoring who they really are in the reality of the moment..its hard because im just so naturally idealistic but im still learning! 🙂

  2. I’m really appreciating David Whyte of late and especially love the last line in the poem, which I’ve been marinating on. You are arriving. We are always arriving. It’s a bit of cliche, but my friends say that time heals all. If only it didn’t feel so darn long!!!

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