It seems that breakups are all around me. And it must be something in the air. Something I’ve decided I needed to learn in this lifetime. Because it’s been loud and clear lately.
Last night I had to let go of someone I’ve loved more than anyone I’ve ever loved in my whole life. Who completely changed the way I think about myself, relationship, love and commitment. Who expanded my heart in ways I never knew possible. Who challenged me, grew me, and had me take a good hard look at myself. Who showed me that unconditional love does exist, and that I can keep loving even when I’m scared, sad, frustrated, annoyed, and don’t have time to “deal with this right now.”
As some of you know, I’ve shared custody of my great dane, Coach, with my ex for almost three years now. When I was traveling across the US, I’d get him. When my ex wasn’t traveling across the US, he’d get him. And since our last trips, both of our lives have changed. I now live 1200 miles away. He now has a new family.
We’ve both known that shared custody wasn’t going to last forever, but neither of us would budge. We both wanted him and neither of us were surrendering. Until last night.
Here’s the letter I wrote:
“Happy Volleyball Day.
As you can imagine this decision has not been easy for me. I’ve been avoiding writing you back, handling the pain on my end for awhile now. But the bottom line for me is that I think Meatball is best with you guys. It seems that he has a good thing going. Fun in the sun and all that.
I’m building something right now with my business that is big. And it will have me traveling and moving and shaking and not as present as it seems you guys are.
With all this being said…I will only agree to allowing you guys to have the majority of custody under these conditions:
1) You promise to never ever ever let him turn into an Orange County brah bro douchebag with a fake tan, a trucker hat, and a buncha bitch sluts hanging around. Make sure you force him to keep it real.
2) That there is the underlying understanding that Chrissy has adopted Coach as a step dog, but that he is still my dog. I found him, picked him out, paid for him, spent the majority of his life with him, taken him all over the country three times, have loved on him and taught him a lot of his funny quirks. He’s my (and yours) boy, no matter who he is living with.
3) You make sure he sees the world and always feels loved. That he sniffs lots of different types of trees, that his little feet feel lots of different types of grounds, that he swims in multiple bodies of water, and sees all the sky possible. That he gets more exercise than he needs, the best quality food, and the absolute best care.
4) That I can come see him, spend time with him, take him out whenever I’m in town and whenever I want to, and you’ll work with me to make that happen.
5) That I still get updates and pics and maybe a facetime chat or two hundred with him.
If you can agree to all of these things, I’m willing to allow your guys’ home be his most permanent home.
I imagine that you’ll both be super happy and celebrating over this. Please don’t let me know about this part of this. This is really hard and terribly sad for me. My heart is so tender and hurting around this and you have no idea what this has been like for me even imagining doing this. So please be sensitive to that.
Two days from now, 18 years ago, my dad died. And it’s not surprising to me that all of this is coming up now. I’ve carried around old wounds and hurts from my past, from men “leaving me” from feeling not good enough for them to stick around, assuming that who I am is too intense and unlovable.
Something is being birthed in me right now and this is all part of it. The clearing and excavating of old hurts, old ideas, old people, old scars, so that I can birth something new. Part of not making this decision (since really…it’s been on the table all three years), was probably me hanging on to the relationship with my ex. Not even fathoming being able to let go of someone I loved so much (my dog, and probably my ex too). Of not wanting to be perceived as a bad mother, or not wanting to feel, deep down, that I gave up on my baby. But really, I’ve known for a long time that Coach would probably be best off with my ex. This hits me in my gut to say out loud. Ugh.
The Wildheart Revolution is happening. It is this.
And letting go of my old self up to this point is the first step. My old self who would rather die than let “some other woman” have my dog (just because I couldn’t let her win). The old self who would want to “punish” my ex for not chasing after me when I left. The old self who cared about “winning” more than she cared about what’s really the best thing for everyone.
I’ve traded ego for compassion, and it’s really hard. But it feels really good.
The last thing in the world I wanted to do was give my dog to a new family (and honestly…to the “other woman”), especially when I love him, can take care of him, and want him. But the honest truth is that in my bigger vision of my place in the world, The Wildheart Revolution will have me traveling. Moving and shaking. Up to big things.
And when given the choice to have my dog in the hands of a wonderful family who loves him (including his dad) or be put in boarding facilities every time my Revolution calls me out of town (which in my vision, is a lot), I choose the former. I choose love. I choose letting my ego go, for the good of everyone involved.
Tears fall out of my eyeballs as I post this. My gut feels heavy. But I also know it’s the right thing.Love Of My Life
At Pt. Isabel, Berkeley, CA
At the river in Portland, OR Teaching Each Other “I Love You”, Denver, CO Going On A Hike, Portland, OR
Never in a million years did I think I’d be one of “those” kind of people
Love you more than the moon and stars and sky. You will always be my favorite cuddle buddy.
This is a Wildhearted Life. Doing the right thing, even when it’s hard and you don’t want to.
It’s putting your own hurts and ego aside for the greater good. It’s making the tough call, the almost impossible decision. And it’s choosing love.
I love my dog. I love my ex. I love all the experiences I’ve had to get me here to this moment. I’m sad to let go and am going kicking and screaming. But on the other side of that scream is silence. The calm of the Wild Heart Way.
Won’t you join me?
What in your life needs to be let go of so you can birth something new? What have you been hanging on to in order to avoid the next chapter? Please share and leave a comment below.