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When a Relationship is Ending

It feels like a tightness in the chest, or an emptiness in the belly, or a crushing of the spirit when a relationship that has been valued seems to be coming to an end. Even when the separation is of your own choosing, there is a deep sadness that wends through the soul like a dark river. There is also the constant questioning of the decision and self-recriminations for being unable to continue on in something that had once been so fruitful and life-giving.

None of us wants to be the cause of another’s pain, nor do we want to have our own heart broken. Part of the pain at the end of a relationship is the feeling that what we once had has been lost, or forgotten, or made meaningless by the changes that have brought us to the point of separation. This is a natural human reaction, but it is not consistent with the eternity of God.

In the eternity of God every encounter, every relationship, every sharing of hearts is part of the divine plan, and even though our situation and feelings may change, those encounters, relationships, and sharing of hearts are always held in the divine memory of God’s timelessness. We have given ourselves to another in love, and that has shaped and transformed us in ways that are undeniable and eternal. When a relationship ends, the remnants of love remain forever etched in our heart and in the heart of heaven.

Tip to try:
When you are feeling the painful emotions that come when a loving relationship is breaking up, find a quiet place and allow yourself to be in the presence of God there. In your mind bring your partner into that presence with you, and tell God why you love and cherish this person even though you are now changing the way you relate to one another. Ask God to put a blanket of peace around the two of you, and to give you both the freedom to hold each other in love even as you move forward in another direction.

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