We keep on hearing these stories: people, mostly men, who walk away from their relationships, or worst their families, stealthily, often without goodbyes, or sometimes with cryptic parting word like mysterious riddles doomed without answers. They leave behind their loved ones, their children, their partners, their spouses without explanations, without any compelling reasons.
In the way we know about Love and relationships, we always deem them irresponsible, indifferent, devoid of a true sense of Love they should have expressed and nurtured yet neglected. They have made a decision that caused sudden turnover and ruined the lives that supposed to be dreamed and built together.
Amy*, a friend, whose partner Michael* left her with only a single sentence “Hindi ko na kaya” (I can’t do it), has always been puzzled of his words. Still in deep pain and confusion, she goes further by trying to reconnect with him, ready to hear him and find clear answers that hope to explain about what really burdens him, what drove him to leave her.
Here’s how I attempt to examine it: Often, what is really burdensome is the nature of personal truth – of realizations that are hard to explain, that even words cannot articulate. Often for these people, silence can soothe the sense of terror of facing one’s emotions or speaking one’s honesty. It is much easier not to speak and not to admit, perhaps on the belief of saving oneself or others from even much greater pains. Without seeing ahead, greater emotional and relationship suffering awaits.
Amy’s story is just one among many. What Michael did, my father did the same. I’ve had friends whose fathers did the same. I have friends whose partners have disappeared. And there are people I know who have left their partners, teleporting themselves into silence.
Yes, it is unfair to be hurt by such actions of those people we decided to Love. It hurts to be left behind, like being robbed by a thief who suddenly came and gone, leaving you empty. It is deeply painful, a sort of loss equal to death. A kind of pain that repeats in the mind, digging on the emotional wounds of the past for possible answers.
I am in no place to judge, yet I am carefully laying down a path to explore the question. I can feel the pain of people who were hurt, but I also try to wear the shoes of those who left.
…to begin a life of Love that rests on the nurturing of your soul as its true source.
I remember the Buddha when he was then Siddhartha. Shortly after marrying his cousin and giving her a son, he left them and his old luxurious prince’s life without saying goodbye. He was driven by an inescapable thirst for searching truth, and sacrificed his family life for it.
Ordinary people who leave are no Buddha. Whatever grounds for soul-searching may not be enough, and would be too simplistic to justify such action of leaving. They have made a choice, unfortunately a choice that can sever any strong ties or invalidate sacred vows.
Flight or fight. We are living in a world governed by our internal instincts. The unencumbered potency of fear to override our reason and soundness. Our easy route is to flee, if not resist. It would always be easy to quit, to say hindi ko na kaya, perhaps because a sentence like this captures a great burden, too heavy and solid to turn them into words.
For those who are still hurt, those who have left you have undoubtedly made a decision beyond your control. It may seem too absurd, but it is still a decision. And their decision is a key to a new, but very tough personal decision you have to make alone: to begin to heal the void by embracing and forgiving all the hurt, the absurdity, the suddenness of being left behind, and to begin a life of Love that rests on the nurturing of your soul as its true source.
For those who have left, know that after making a decision, there is no way but to see its repercussions – how it hurts not just those who Love you, but also yourself. To be in the middle of a renewed courage of facing your terrifying truth that rest in the silence of leaving, of opening yourself to healing, of liberating yourself from fear, the route by which your decision has taken.
After all of these, in the dimension of Love we all see through suffering and wrongness. After the surge of judgement and burden of hatred, we will gradually find wisdom – a decision by itself left in our freedom to make.
*not their real names.
Thank you, Amy, for asking your question. Though answers are still elusive, you will find them in God’s time.
featured photo from Pixabay.com