Today, I deliver to you my last message in this series of Feng Shui for Love. Let’s talk about Feng Shui and making mistakes in relationships.
I want to tell you the story of a couple who separated, while still loving each other. Let’s call them Joan and George.
Joan was my 2nd client, back in the days when I first started practicing Feng Shui, in the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
When I met her, Joan had moved back to her hometown and started a retail business. The business was by then 3 years old. She and her second husband George had separated 4 years before I met Joan.
You would not know it by looking at her fair skin, blond hair and blue eyes, but Joan was part Native American. She grew up in the Cherokee tradition.
Joan’s First Marriage
Joan got married the first time at 18, right after high school. She said that she could hear the spirits of those who would become her first 2 boys whispering in her ear that they wanted to come to life, and they were eager for it.
Joan married Percy, her high school love, and got pregnant right away. Joan said that, looking back, she must have been after Percy’s genes, because there wasn’t much there in terms of values or personality.
Sure, Percy was very handsome, a charmer, and a dreamer. He was also petty, undisciplined, and liked to blame others for his plights.
Joan and Percy had 2 beautiful, strong, healthy boys, but the marriage didn’t last long. After a few years, Percy became abusive of her, and she was afraid he would eventually also hurt the children.
She left Percy and moved away to another city, in northern Mississippi, where she could provide a safe home for her boys. She started a small retail business, and she was finally doing fairly well, when she met George.
Joan’s Second Marriage
George was a widower, with 3 small kids of his own. He needed a loving, dependable woman to help him raise his family. Joan needed a gentle man, who was a good provider, to help her raise her 2 boys. They got married and had a kid together.
Joan said that because of what she had suffered in her relationship with Percy, she was able to appreciate the goodness in George more. He was a devoted, fair father to all 6 children, and a gentle lover to her. She was a fantastic mother to all their children, and they all adored her. With 6 little kids to take care of, Joan had to give up her business, but she never lost sight of her goal. She looked forward to the day her youngest went off to college, so she could start a business again.
George’s New Plans for His Life
However, when Joan’s youngest son, Gavin, graduated high school, a political party asked George to run for office as a councilman. He accepted, and got elected. George needed Joan to be available for political events. At first, Joan thought it was a passing fancy, and that he would tire of politics soon enough. Shortly after, he wanted to run as a representative for their state’s congress. Joan did not want to be a politician’s wife. She had no desire to perform the social functions required of a politician’s wife. Joan wanted to go back into business.
George knew that divorce would hurt his chances in politics, but he also knew that owning a business was a true desire of Joan’s heart. Joan finally figured out that being in politics was a true desire of his heart. George really believed he could make a difference. Their inner gravitational pull towards their life missions in this stage of life were not parallel, they would take them in different directions. So they separated. George won the elections and served his state for another 4 years. Joan moved back South and started her business in the town where she had been born, with great success. They stayed in touch, and met with their kids for holidays. Gradually, the distance extinguished their passion for each other, but they still loved each other very much.
George Follows South
When George’s term was over, he was ready to retire. He left his home town in Northern Mississippi and bought a home 4 blocks from Joan’s home, so they could be close to each other as they aged, and so their children could visit them both without having to travel far.
I wish I could tell you that Joan and George got back together as a couple, but that is not what happened. They were still keenly interested in each other, and they wanted to be close, but they were no longer a couple. The spark was gone.
Failure or Not?
Many would say that Joan had 2 failed marriages, but that is not how Joan saw it. In her eyes, she had 2 successful marriages.
She said her first marriage had the purpose of providing bodies for her 2 boys to come into the world, with strong, healthy, robust genes. In this it succeeded.
Her second marriage had the purpose of having her experience love and respect from a good man. It also provided them both with the chance to do right by the children they brought into the marriage, and the baby they had together. In this, it succeeded.
When the marriages served their purpose, they ended, and she had no bitterness about this.
I wanted to share this story with you today, because it illustrates so well the point I want to make: just because a relationship ended, it doesn’t mean you made a mistake.
Just Because a Relationship Ended, it Doesn’t Mean You Made a Mistake!
Many clients have shared with me their feelings of defeat because a marriage ended, after 3 years, after 10 years or after 25 years. The longer a couple was married before the divorce, the more the separation tends to feel as a failure.
Clients say, “How could I have been so blind?” or “Why did it take me 20 years to realize this marriage was a mistake?”
The truth is, in most cases, that getting married was the right decision for both partners at the time. Very few people marry with the intent that the marriage not last for the rest of their lives!
Right Does Not Always Mean Forever
A marriage may have been the right decision for 18, years, then the life missions of one or both partners start pulling them away. What follows is a period of intense pain, as the energetic links between the partners get undone. This precedes the final separation.
This is very sad, but it happens. People who were previously in love, fall out of love. Sometimes, one partner meets someone new and a love surges for the new person that overshadows their previous love.
There is a difference between adultery (cheating) — a habit of deceit that a person may have in thinking that they can be married, but still sleep with other people — and the real, painful reality that one of the partners may genuinely fall in love with someone else, and want to move on.
I remember a young man, another client, who agonized about continuing a love relationship with a woman. He wasn’t sure she was “The One.” I told him, for most people, there is not only 1 “The One.”
A lover may be “the one” for you while you get through college, and only during that time. A fast, passionate, blissful and short lasting fling may be “the one” for you as you recover from a long term relationship that ended very painfully.
Temporary Relationships Are OK!
Another one of my clients, lets call her Brittany, had one of the saddest childhoods I have ever heard of. She had lots of blocks in relationships, because she had been sexually molested by a family member as a child. As a young woman, she hooked up with men that, in appearance, were all wrong for her. In reality, she could only have sex with partners that did not remind her in any way of that family member.
She dated, for a couple of years, a man that would have been all wrong for her as a husband, but was perfect for her as a lover. Dating this man was her first step towards healing. With him, she learned that her enjoyment of a full, healthy, sexual life was not ruined or made impossible by the traumatic experiences of her childhood. When this relationship ended, she met the man who would become her husband. With therapy and healing, she was able to relate to this new man, who had had a very happy, healthy and safe childhood. They have been happily married for 30 years.
Both relationships were right for her: the one that was never meant to become permanent, but was part of her healing process, and the one that allowed her to start a family, and be committed for life.
The Important Thing After a Relationship Ends
The important thing after a relationship ends is to take care of your heart. Allow your heart to feel what it needs to feel. If it helps, imagine that you are made of mesh. Allow feelings to come to you and go through you with no resistance.
Let go of attachments to a love relationship that has ended by letting go of objects that represent it:
- Take down wedding photos off the walls and put them in an album. If you have divorced, don’t keep any photos of your ex on your walls. Do allow photos of your ex if you had children together. Have your children keep them in their bedrooms. Make sure to keep photos of yourself in every child’s bedroom too.
- Let go of love letters, cards, and plush animals that were gifts from your previous love.
- Give away your old sheets and get new sheets to invite potential new relationships into your life.
- If you can afford it, replace your china.
- Let go of any other objects in the home that bring you strong memories of your former love.
In some cases, when the pain of the separation is too much, it may even be a good idea to change homes.
Just because a relationship ended, it doesn’t mean that you made a mistake in choosing that person. However, this does not mean that people do not make mistakes in relationships. Sometimes, those mistakes do end up causing a relationship to fail.
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