Her leaving me only accelerated my impact with rock bottom. I was already on a downhill slide and barely maintaining. My jobs had slowly become unbearable: I felt underutilized and unappreciated. Add to that a year that had been filled with death and sickness of those close to me.
So when she left, I was thoroughly crushed. My ego was shattered: An ego that had made me dependent on another. Most of my life, my being had not been enough: I always needed something external: More money, a perfect relationship, more fun, more connections. Simply being wasn’t an option.
So there I was, at the end of that year, cracked wide open. Completely vulnerable. All my identities shattered into pieces. And with everything gone, all that was left was a naked human consciousness. Alone.
But not alone from a lack of friends or love. Quite the opposite: Friends helped me regain my confidence and my self-awareness. They helped me find my humanity as an individual. And they helped me find that special someone: My self.
So much of life is trying to find something, or someone, to make you feel good enough. Satisfied. Accomplished. But relying on something or someone is not sustainable. Because everyone moves on, whether they choose it, or death chooses for them.
As I saw my weakness, I recognized it in the people around me as well. I saw the whole of humanity, each person in their own pain, moving forward through their fear, anxiety, happiness, and joy. And we were all sharing this human suffering.
In the end, I reached the answer to all life lessons: The one fundamental requirement to make it through the suffering of life:
Gratitude for simply having the opportunity of the human experience.
I knew the value of gratitude before hitting rock bottom. But this time, I realized it from a place of suffering. I felt it, instead of telling myself I should feel it.
And once you realize it, you can share it with whoever may cross your path in life.
I will always remember what she said when she left:
“You’ll always be more stable on two legs than four.”
Meaning, it’s less risky alone, than with a partner.
I thought she was wrong, but after awhile, I learned that she was right.
People are a wonderful risk. Life is a wonderful risk.
If you really want to live.