Baghdad, Iraq.

Oh God, I am hurting so much. Just opening the document wherein I write my posts made me break down crying. This morning I received an email from the woman I still love, telling me she wants to break up completely. I feel devastated. Why does it always hurt so much? Why does it always happen at my most vulnerable moments?

It is not the first time that I am in this place. My body feels like raw flesh, the skin torn off. My stomach is cringing and my head feels numb. I feel like being hit by a train. I go from disbelief and disconnecting to facing the collapse of my visions of our future together and crying. No house. No children. No happily ever after.

It is so hard for me to comprehend that her feelings changed so quickly and so radical. And it is so painful to accept that she came to the conclusion that the best, most healing thing for her to do is to cut all ties with me. It breaks my heart.

It is my worst nightmare: that somebody I love wakes up and sees that loving me is a mistake and that appropriate action needs to be taken. That she sees that it is in her best interest to get the hell out of there.

I knew I was taking a risk by leaving for a year. And the status of our relationship wasn’t very clear anyway. We have been going through difficult times, together and individually. We have been separated for a while and I truly felt that we were more equal when we reconnected last summer. The months before I left we were closer than ever and I am deeply grateful for the support I received from her. I truly believed that there was something eternal between us. But I also knew that I would go on a journey to seek growth and transformation and chances are I will come back a different man. She deserves a similar journey and it sounds like a wise thing to let go of her attachments to me. The ‘me’ she is attached to has no intention of coming back any way. Maybe she is doing me a favor by killing that ‘me’.

In Zen there is no hope, they say. It means that hoping for things to become better keeps you from accepting what is. By not accepting our reality we suffer. But I do hope! I hope that relinquishing fear and habitual patterns make me a better partner. I hope that going to difficult places and doing beautiful work will make her love me, make her want to be with me. I hope to come back ready. I hope to start a family. I hope to be able to provide for us. I hope that one day I will be good enough.

I don’t understand why this is happening to me. Was going to Iraq not enough? The task ahead of me is big enough as it is, why must my bones be broken right before I start? I am asked to give the young Iraqi’s hope. How can I give them hope when I am in despair?

I had my heart broken many times. And every time I made leap in my development. But God, does it hurt.

Ok, let me breathe. What do I trust? I trust my heart. I trust that my intentions are good. I trust that the timing is right. I trust her. I trust her heart. I trust life. I trust I receive what I deserve. I trust I will heal.

Edit: I looked back at a post I wrote on January 2010 when I was in a similar place of sadness (since history repeats itself i might see if I can learn something from lessons from the past). At the end of the post I grabbed a book called “Smile at Fear, Awakening the True Heart of Bravery” by Chogyam Trunpa. My eye just fell on this quote then:

“Warriorship is so tender, without skin, without tissue, naked and raw. It is soft and gentle. You have renounced putting on a new suit of armour. You have renounced growing a thick, hard skin. You are willing to expose your naked flesh, bone and marrow to the world.”

Yesterday I saw a quote of myself on which was an unreal feeling. I must have been on fire when I wrote that:

“The reason why I put myself in this vulnerable position is a very grave one; it’s because I have learned that hiding fears, wishes and desires for oneself and others are the source of human suffering, loneliness and disconnectedness; it’s nothing less than betrayal of our hearts and souls.

Our personal embarrassment and dishonesty are not just individual obstacles of minor importance; we are killing the planet with our fear because it leads to greed, anger and ignorance.

To save our own humanity and our humanity as a whole we must become more honest with ourselves. We must overcome our fears. The only way I can make a contribution to overcoming collective human fear is to overcome my own fear.”

This is a terrible day. The only reason I post this is because this is what I do. If sharing my pain serves somebody maybe it wasn’t for nothing.

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  1. Gilana says

    Who knows what will happen tomorrow? We all change our minds.

    Take care of yourself. Our broken hearts beat together, in companionship as we keep walking.

    In love always,

  2. christopher munoz says

    I am sad for you, Atalwin, but also grateful. P eace and strength to you; you will need both. Your life is not broken, just your heart. I get very much from reading your journey, past and present.

  3. Pausha Foley says

    Atalwin, with much love and compassion I ask you to allow me to make a suggestion: what if this is not happening to you? What if you are doing this? What if this is you growing, opening and transforming to be able to be more present to what is, rather than what you wish it to be, your fantasy, your hope, your story?

    You say this is a terrible moment for this to happen – but what if it is the best possible moment? The moment when you have to be as present, as clear, as much “here. now.” as you possibly can. What if this event truly calls you out, pushes you to open, to grow, to be you and just you, with no attachments?

    Also, I would imagine the iraqi know all about the pain of loss. Maybe this is the place where you can connect much deeper?

  4. Michael says

    Pausha makes really good points Atalwin. I feel we are so similar. I too wanted what you want, and never could find it. Though I searched, and searched I had my heart broken over, and over, and over again.

    Then I took some time off, went skydiving for a month and almost died.

    I broke my left hip and my pelvis in two places. I lost everything I had worked for. I was forced to move back into my parents, was out of money, had no home of my own, and sad.

    But I healed. My body first. Then I taught myself to walk again. Everyday getting a little stronger and stronger. My optimism came back, but I had far to go.

    A woman I had met on the internet kept bugging me to meet (I had previously been a prolific internet dater), and I said fine. One last time. My last date for a year or two as I felt the universe was telling me to focus on myself again. We met on a date and everything changed.

    Almost ten years later we have two wonderful children. She came into my life when I felt no other woman would want me. She saw the potential in me and gave me the chance.

    My reason for sharing this with you is that the Universe has a plan for you, but it seems you may be fighting it. Don’t. Let go, feel the flow of energy and let that consume you now. Let that dictate where you go, and what you do. Don’t look for anything other than a better understanding of who you are, and what you want, and what you can do for others and when you least expect it, you will turn around and it will appear.

    Have faith my friend, but I feel and understand your pain. Trust me though, when it happens, it will all have been worth it, and the pain you feel now will not compare to the joy you will feel moving forward.

  5. jemen says

    Atalwin, I would like to ask what happened after you wrote this? Like after a year or two? I am actually experiencing the same scenario as what had happened to you. As of the moment, I really can’t figure it out, it has been two months now and I feel like I still haven’t made a single step to move on.

    Pausha and Michael, Thank You for the wisdom. I am somehow picturing this as “not to break me but to build me” and that goes for both of us. I still believe that one day I will meet or exceed the expectations that she wants in a man. She will be back. I am hoping that I could still hold her hands to love and live like there is no tomorrow.

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