Lessons in Heartbreak

Lessons in Heartbreak

I recently fell in love. Deeply. I had all the classic symptoms; I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t focus on anything. He was interesting, cute, sweet, sexy, bright, difficult, challenging – everything that I wanted. He told me that he never shared so intimately with anyone, he told me he loved me, he told me that he was a better man around me, he told me that he thinks I could be the one. And the kisses…well, left me breathless.

Now let me take a moment to clarify that I was not looking for this. In fact, I am a pragmatist, not romantic and certainly not sentimental at all. It came out of left field and knocked me off my feet.

The synchronicities and symbols that popped up everywhere made me realise, after our second date, that my animus was constellated. My ex was worried and warned me to take it easy! To which I replied, ‘It’s too late!’. I was in love and I surrendered to the experience completely.

I had thought that I would never feel like that again, that it just was not in the cards for me. When it happened, I jumped straight in with both feet, basking in the warmth and heat of the experience. For years prior to this experience, I suspected that I was like sleeping beauty, frustrated and debilitated by my inability to awaken myself. I felt like something was missing from my life and no matter what I tried and pursued it remained nebulous and out of reach.  And suddenly here was my prince, and he brought me back to life with a single kiss.

I was transformed, I felt alive, awake. I was so happy!

Alas! I had to fall in love with the most adult person ever, whilst I was transformed into a love starved teenager. As much as I pushed and loved and embraced, he ran in the opposite direction. Too much, too soon, relax, calm down, he warned. But I opened my heart, my house and more – he said he is not ready to commit, can’t marry again, can’t love again. While having just come out of a nasty divorce, surviving cancer and a bad accident, he told me he is in no condition to love me. My perspective was that this is an amazing opportunity, a gift and an act of grace. Let’s take it with both hands, I told him, let’s lose ourselves in love and passion! To which he replied, you’re pushing too hard.

And shortly afterwards, he broke it off with the excuse that he couldn’t give me what I wanted and that he didn’t want to hurt me.

He didn’t want to hurt me?

I cried for weeks on my green couch. I was grieving, lost in self-pity, yearning, desperate.  First came the denial. It can’t be, he will come back, how can he give up on this! After he broke up with me I was unable to reconcile this fact that he didn’t want to be with me. Surely if I felt this way around him, he felt the same way around me? I could not understand it. It felt like a puzzle that I was unable to reconstruct. I simply could not let go and let it be. I felt that he was everything I wanted and when he said that he has nothing to offer me I couldn’t understand it. All I had wanted was for him to love and adore me the same way I did him.

During this process, I met at least four women who told me a similar story, of a great passionate love who left them for some obscure reason. One friend confessed that she still grieved the loss and the vacuum it left four years later. Another one had met her husband afterwards whom she believes she only met because she needed to be cracked open for her to love another. I could relate to what she said. I felt cracked open.

I was devastated! It was genuinely the first time that I had such an intense reaction to someone else. It was a chemical reaction, I couldn’t stop it and did not want to. It is truly want Jung spoke about when he said, “The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed.”

The feelings, thoughts, hopes and dreams that lay dormant within that were triggered were now out and visible to me. Pandora’s box was open. All the hopes and dreams that I didn’t even know I had were floating away. And my chance to grasp it and integrate it was gone!

What else could I do but try to process it as best I could? I spent hours and hours reflecting and journaling. It has been a painful but illuminating process.

I have learnt a lot about myself, about what I want, about who I am and who I want to be. What is meaningful to me, how I want to be loved, and how not. How I want to feel about myself in a relationship. My boundaries. What it is I projected onto him that I haven’t integrated in myself. And the type of person I want to be in a relationship with.

I am different now to who I was before I met him. It was truly a transformative experience.

As much as I am grateful for it and lessons I learnt, I am also pissed off! How could he just rip it away from me? I hardly had a chance to emerge myself in the experience. I only just had a taste of it and already it’s slipping out of my grasp. I am unable to hold onto it.

Yet, as much as I blame him for being a self-absorbed asshole with no consideration for me, I realise that I was doing the same thing. I was only interested in what I wanted, with no consideration for his feelings. But still, why do I feel like he won and I am the loser?

No doubt I projected everything I wanted in a relationship and a partner onto him and never saw the real man behind the projections. I wanted it all and I wanted it there and then. In my impatience, I did not listen or respect what he was saying. I completely ignored his feelings and where he was at. All I was interested in was my own agenda. I treated him with disrespect, disregard and objectified him. I can only hope that he also was transformed in some way and that he doesn’t regret our brief encounter.

A few days ago, I went out for drinks with my twenty-year-old (very wise) daughter. She often mentions that each relationship is a lesson, so I thought I would inspire her to blog about it. During this conversation, she confessed that she had also had her heart broken by someone and still battles to let go. We spoke about the experience at length and I mentioned to her that I had realised that what I missed most was how I felt when I was with him. She agreed wholeheartedly and told me that she thought it was 100% true.

I have been thinking about that quite a bit and I think it is true, for me anyway. It wasn’t him that I fell in love with, as much as I thought it was at the time. I fell in love with the way I felt around him and because of him. I loved being infatuated. I loved feeling feminine and like a girl again. I loved the passion that was awoken in me. I loved the fantasy of our life together. I loved being happy. I loved the somatic symptoms. I loved being in love. I was a different person who experienced the world from a new perspective – an alternate state of consciousness.

Now it is gone and I yearn for that feeling. I am so sad about the loss and ruminating about it is such sweet anguish. I am also petrified that I will never feel like that again. And the truth is I won’t, because it was our specific chemistry that had that effect on me.

It is both scary and wonderful that someone else, the archetypal other, can have such an effect on a person. If I hadn’t met him, would I ever have felt those feelings again or realised what it is I was missing? Perhaps not. Would I then have settled into a comfortable mediocre relationship? Probably.

I want to be in love and now that I know what it feels like, I won’t settle. Yet, I am wary. I don’t want to get hurt again. Will I ever throw myself into a relationship like that again? With total trust, faith, hope and abandon? I doubt it. I also have reservations that I could ever have a similar experience again. Then there is the nagging thought that perhaps we are not meant to have it all with one person. And of course, can it last?

But as my daughter said whilst we were talking about it, we live in hope. We hope to experience something similar, or rather something better. An alchemical reaction that will result in something magical and lasting.

And perhaps this is true for most of us. That we carry within us a secret desire of what it means to have love, passion, meaning and intimacy with another. That we project something onto love, something that will liberate us. Something that will transform our stagnant, disillusioned selves into magical beings of light and love. Because deep down we realise that we can only take ourselves so far, and it is that magical other that is needed to truly awaken us to ourselves.

I would like to challenge you to reflect on your own beliefs about love. How do you feel when you are with your beloved and is this what you love about your partner? Perhaps you have also loved and lost? Perhaps you think this is all bullshit and that you don’t need another to awaken you? Perhaps you too believe that one day, hopefully, you will receive grace and find the one that makes you come alive. Or perhaps you have found the one that has awoken you and it is everything that you hoped it could be.

Whatever it is, I would love to hear your feedback.

Until next time


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Comments (62)

  • Max Machanik Reply

    Awesome article particularly in light of the projection module we are doing on Magnum Opus. Thanks Anja

    March 19, 2017 at 17:38
    • Robert Harrewyn Reply

      Wonderful article. I was reminded of Jungs comment that individuating is none other than the reeling in of projection. I had a crippling heart break four years ago and the night before I received the final email I had this dream ” A man with a very strong presence of a teacher/ guide looks me in the eyes and strictly says “listen up loss is evolution” I woke up terrified knowing that it was over. This dream saved my life. There is a lot more too much to recall and share here.

      March 21, 2017 at 03:02
  • Ilse Reply

    A wonderful article -I am deep inside the Blame Game, having just had my heart broken and being subject to some pretty awful behaviour. This article woke me up to my part in the destruction of the little dream I had, and I am very grateful for that.

    March 20, 2017 at 06:06
    • Anja van Kralingen Reply

      Thank you Ilse. I have a friend who said to her lover when he left her “You are a destroyer of fairy tales!” Not easy to have your dreams annihilated.

      March 20, 2017 at 09:56
  • Lynelle Pieterse Reply

    Great article Anja! Thanks for sharing this with us. Lost of food for thought for me – I am asking myself what do I project onto the other that I should actually find I have available to myself in my own psyche… Tricky process!

    March 20, 2017 at 09:51
    • Anja van Kralingen Reply

      Thanks Lynelle. Tricky and interesting. Explore and see what emerges!

      March 20, 2017 at 15:09
  • Stephen Reply

    Speaking with two caps on, the Jungian one and the other “your ex” (a dubious term at best, as truthfully, I have never stopped loving you) I would like to share a few reflections reading your post provoked in me. Yes, it was provocative and took a considerable degree of courage to read. Being married to you, having children with you, being your best friend and lover for over two decades I can make no claim to objectivity. That acknowledged, my thoughts follow.

    Projection can only go so far as an explanatory tool. The degree of passion, pathos, euphoria and intense Eros you experienced, suggests that your lover must had similar emotions provoked in him. Love is frightening. As Žižek puts it, it is a catastrophic experience. The expression that “one falls in love” is telling. Whilst I don’t wish you to offer you cold comfort nor psychoanalyse your lover, it is a not unreasonable inference to draw that the experience was simply overwhelming for him.

    Speaking as a man and I don’t mean to tar all men with the same brush, because my story like everyone else’s is unique, but still… feeling, never mind passionate love, is challenging. Society asks of men that they harden their hearts, it is part of what “being a man” has come to mean. How did Yahweh put it to Job, girder thy loins and be a man, or something to that effect. It probably sounded better in the original. 🙂 You mention some of the challenges your lover had dealt with. I think it would not be unreasonable to say part of his survival strategy was to harden his heart and anesthetise his soul.

    And yet, ironically, it is feeling that really requires courage. To fall madly, fearlessly and ferociously in love is an act of hope. It is an affirmation of your capacity and choice to care in a world that too often is cruel and heartless and callous and, let’s face it, at times simply absurd.

    The first day I met you, I remember it like it was yesterday, I was in awe of you. Twenty-five odd years later that admiration and awe is not only still there but has grown. The shadow of being such a big personality is not everyone is up for the challenge of being in relationship with you, let alone being in a passionate love affair.
    I salute you, your honestly and vulnerability. A stranger who has never met you said to me of you recently, after I shared the details of our separation, your wife is my hero. You are my hero too and I think more people than not feel that way about you.

    Nietzsche speaks of the idea of eternal return. The idea is that this moment, this all too brief love affair you mourn, leaves a cosmic imprint that is eternal. It is an interesting idea meant to awaken in the reader the question, knowing that I will live this moment again and again into infinity, how do I choose to live it, or how should I choose to live it?

    The best answer I have to that question, is live it heroically.

    And when I think of what a heroic life looks like, yours is the best template I have.

    With deepest love and admiration,

    March 20, 2017 at 12:14
    • Anja van Kralingen Reply

      Thanks Stephen for your comment. I means a lot to me and I must say I was bawling when I read it. I am who I am today because of you and our journey together and you have always been my hero.

      March 20, 2017 at 15:03
    • Deb Reply

      Thank you Stephen. Thank you, thank you. Your response is a synchronistic blessing for me.

      March 20, 2017 at 18:25
    • Jasmina Reply

      So moving.

      March 21, 2017 at 15:11
    • Kelly Reply

      Now that’s a man we all dream of!

      March 22, 2017 at 03:18
  • Adrian Reply

    All great “stuff” Anja.! I’m Awakening deeper.
    The soul my soul thanks you, I so do I.
    Thank Stephen for me. This journey we share breathes and flowers. Spring is here..,. Adrian

    March 20, 2017 at 13:47
    • Anja van Kralingen Reply

      Thanks Adrian for your lovely comment.

      March 20, 2017 at 15:06
  • Michael Stevens Reply

    I can’t begin to express my admiration for both you Anja and Stephen. I want you to be my best friends basically. You won’t regret it, honestly! I need more people like you in my life! Everyone does! Not sure what else to say really. You have both moved me and inspired me, in particular to go and do Module 4 and 5 now, which I’ve, shamefully, neglected these past 2 weeks. But not only that, to go out and fall deeply in love with someone just for the painful hell of it. You’re right, love not only binds us together it also tears us apart. And it’s the tearing apart bit we all hate, but it’s what really makes us grow, if we let it! Your brilliant piece Anja and Stephen’s response really got me thinking. Whilst your experience of falling in love Anja is universal and happens all the time, it is also intensely unique and will never happen again. I feel a bit giddy thinking about it, but thank you anyway. Mick

    March 20, 2017 at 14:07
    • Anja van Kralingen Reply

      Hi Michael. Yes, we can be friends! 😉 Thanks so much for the comment and feedback.

      March 20, 2017 at 14:37
      • Michael Stevens Reply

        Bless you Anja! You moved me with your piece. Having thought further, the grief we feel for ourselves at such times, when we are allowed to truly feel it and own it, is a form of ‘beautiful self-indulgence of heart felt pain’ which actually, shines a light on our soul. Me thinks! M x

        March 22, 2017 at 02:17
    • Stephen Reply

      Michael salutations to you my brother, I am deeply moved by your comment. We are already best friends, always have been and always will be.

      March 20, 2017 at 15:20
      • Michael Stevens Reply

        I can’t possibly ask for more than that!! Ha! Cheers mate. In the end we’re all trying to get to the same place. Once you know that you no longer have to get anywhere! All the best! Mick

        March 22, 2017 at 02:25
  • Leon Reply

    Beautifully written by a sensitively wise heart

    How to live “the loss of love” heroically?
    It’s a BIG question that requires a BIG MIND and a BIG HEART
    – that lives through the pain without the painkillers
    – that develop BIG WISDOM MUSCLES in heart and in mind

    Then by GRACE one fine day, the discovery that the very same mesmerizing addictive trancelike blissful LOVE EXPERIENCE(s)
    Were only symbolic dreams to awaken my own ultimate and authentic realization
    that “what was lost”,
    “was never ….. not to be found”!

    Is this ‘heroic loss’ also the discovery
    “that I am the thief who hides the diamond in my own pocket” ?
    The question is :
    – once we discover this Diamond, do we stop looking?
    – are we permanently addicted to its the dopamine?”

    March 20, 2017 at 14:45
    • Anja van Kralingen Reply

      Hi Leon, thank you for your comment, and question in response. Is there but one diamond? Or does the magical other keep exposing more and more?

      March 20, 2017 at 16:04
  • Tracy Reply

    “We long for something that will transform our stagnant, disillusioned selves into magical beings of light and love.” This is beautiful. I know this longing very well. And then the clock strikes 12 and our stagnant self in ashes and rags stands where once a being of light stood…

    I relate to your story Anja. I have been through many many intense heartbreaks. I feel I am a hardened warrior of heartbreak. Perhaps the Knight of Heartbreak. And the one that stands out was archetypal in its energy and intensity. Even the story of how we met and what happened, belong in a story, so symbolically charged it was. My animus constellated in such a way as to wake me from my sleep, wake me from that stagnant, root-bound self and propelled me into another life. I heard a few months later he had married another. I so relate to your story Anja. Much love

    March 20, 2017 at 18:17
    • Anja van Kralingen Reply

      Thank you Tracy. Your words really moved me. Thanks for sharing your story.

      March 20, 2017 at 19:51
  • Sharon Pretorius Reply

    Love, love, love your writings Anja! Was totally drawn into the honesty of your words and the beautiful deep emotion. And Stephen’s reply. Intensely special and inspiring. Thank you both ?

    March 20, 2017 at 19:47
    • Anja van Kralingen Reply

      Thank you so much Sharon!

      March 20, 2017 at 20:10
  • Elsabe Pepler Reply

    I feel as if I have just been kicked in my gut by a very big unicorn. It feels as if I will have to crawl for the next 24 hours. If I knew what to say, I probably would have been too scared to articulate it as well. You two. Profound. Gosh. Really? The honesty and courage and insight into this miserable, fantastic bloody thing of men and women, men and men, women and women, trust and intimacy and sex, people and people, a person and another person, chemistry … please don’t rip us open again like you two did just now. And keep on doing it. Gosh. How dare you. May you both find profound fulfillment and love and caring. You have enough knowledge and insight. And words to describe what you feel. Thank you!! Ouch. (I am incoherent now.). Be blessed Anja. Be blessed Stephen. Be blessed, child of yours.

    March 20, 2017 at 23:26
    • Anja van Kralingen Reply

      Thank you Elsabe for your heartfelt words. It was hard to write, but I felt that this archetypal experience of falling in love is so resonant with all of us. And of course so is having your heart broken.

      March 21, 2017 at 11:50
  • Alicia Brown Reply

    Wow what a courageous and honest account of something so personal and raw in a public arena … and Stephen’s even more so courageous & supportive response. I’m going through something similar but wrote different and yes its about looking again couareously at my own projections & intensity and how it effected him – being compassionate towards both of us, but still seething with anger at the injustice of it all & the paradox that stirs within the transformation. I think I’ll have to write my own blog!!

    March 21, 2017 at 01:14
    • Anja van Kralingen Reply

      Thanks Alicia. Yes, do write your own blog. It is wonderfully cathartic and healing.

      March 21, 2017 at 11:50
  • Matthew Reply

    Anja, after reading your post I felt inspired and loved. I met someone several years ago now where I experienced similar emotions; including sadness and self-pity. The experience opened up a a very different world. Thank you for sharing and it it was being in your class last year!

    March 21, 2017 at 02:04
    • Anja van Kralingen Reply

      Thank you for your feedback Matthew!

      March 21, 2017 at 11:51
  • Jessie Reply

    Thank you for this. I’ve just “surfaced” from quite a similar experience like this.
    I am in awe of it and trying to compartmentalize it all.

    March 21, 2017 at 02:20
    • Anja van Kralingen Reply

      Good luck Jessie. I hope the blog helps you to find some closure.

      March 21, 2017 at 11:53
  • Henri Reply

    What beautiful piece. I salute you for your courage to share such an intimate experience.
    My own experience has taught me that the discovery any archetype is a continuous journey. As such, the constellation of my Anima has lead me to encounters with some of the most incredible women – girls who have left a very deep resonance within me. They have shaped me as a person, and in spite of the pain, I am so grateful for having had them.

    March 21, 2017 at 08:17
    • Anja van Kralingen Reply

      Thank you so much Henry for your comment. To quote Alfred Lord Tennyson:

      I hold it true, whate’er befall;
      I feel it, when I sorrow most;
      ‘Tis better to have loved and lost
      Than never to have loved at all.

      March 22, 2017 at 08:54
  • Elna Reply

    Dear Anja, thank you for this incredibly impactful and vulnerable piece. It has touched me deeply. I would like to share this bit of poetry from ‘salt’ with you in relation to the hesitance to fall in love so head over heals again: ‘Do not choose the lesser life, you hear me? You hear me? Choose the life that is yours. The life that is seducing your lungs. The life that is dripping down your chin.’ -Nayyirah Waheed

    March 21, 2017 at 11:52
    • Anja van Kralingen Reply

      Thank you Elna. I hear you!

      March 22, 2017 at 08:51
  • Carina Tuerlinckx Reply

    In monastic realms we can read this passionate adventure in the Songs of songs in the midst of the Holy Bible. After the overwhelming feelings and the first imprints there are always periods of separation. Saint John of the Cross describes it in the dark night as as process of transformations onto the expiation of the different layers of illusions and misconceptions about the other ( human being ) – and the Other ( the Mystery ). A kind of purification but not without a unreasonable purpose . The soul yearns for a deeper meaning and loss and seperation is inevitable to initiate her to what she is looking for on the subconscious level – Saint John refers to the higher Will and the love of J.H.W.H. and indead as with people of flesh and blood love always provokes love but in essence it’s a progressive discovery which should lead to a completion of Love itself when one is prepared to surrender oneself without restraints – I call it the preperation to die again and again or to loose everything inclusive oneself to live in Love and Peace at the end of the journey.

    March 21, 2017 at 17:08
    • Anja van Kralingen Reply

      Thank you Carina for your beautifully written and poignant comment.

      March 22, 2017 at 08:50
  • Rina Reply

    Wow Anja and Stephen, how brave you both are. Sharing pain and heartbreak leaves a person so vulnerable. That is why I believe in both of you, as you are real and everything that You teach is not only lip service! Rina

    March 21, 2017 at 22:21
    • Anja van Kralingen Reply

      Thanks Rina!

      March 22, 2017 at 08:48
  • Dee Reply

    Anja, Thank you for articulating your experience so well and with honestly. I can say for sure that so many things you wrote I have felt as well (as have many other people). So I was so relieved that there are so many who feel so intensely. I don’t know if I can say the same about my ex which kills me. It kills me to think that this was all a lie, and it was. He moved on so quickly which is impossible if there are deep feelings for someone in your heart and soul. But then again I am being selfish. Sometimes I wish he is happy no matter what because I love him I want the best for him, I always have. But sometimes I feel he simply used me and never really cared – which I know to be true in my gut. I think if he was honest and true I may have been ok with the breakup. But what a waste of my soul 🙁
    I loved (still do) him like he was me, like he was something divine, you know! And he moved on to someone who is like me in appearance and habits/hobbies/lifestyle. Lessons I learned are certainly valuable but I don’t know if I can trust again.

    March 21, 2017 at 23:36
    • Anja van Kralingen Reply

      Thanks Dee for your comment. I can relate to what you said that he was you and he was divine. When the Animus/Anima is constellated you are after all in the presence of a god. All the best with your healing process.

      March 22, 2017 at 08:48
  • Vincent Phillip Davis Reply

    “Did you love somebody, and got no love in return, or did you learn the real meaning of love, that it just is, and never yearns” – Prince

    March 22, 2017 at 00:55
  • Paul Bradstreet Reply

    The people we attract into our lives are a reflection of ourselves. It is the Law of Attraction. If we are not whole and complete in our own existence we will attract the same. Work on yourself. Bring your being to a higher vibration and let the Creator take care of the rest. Love and light.

    March 22, 2017 at 02:58
    • Anja van Kralingen Reply

      Thanks Paul for your input. I do believe I am working on myself, and the Creator sends me aspects of myself in the other which in turn helps me to work on myself.

      March 22, 2017 at 08:46
  • suna Reply

    To all those old hippies out there – it was at this juncture that Carol King wrote/performed ‘Tapestry’.
    The words of the song, scribbled in a young boy’s handwriting, was given to me by a ‘boy’ friend at the tender age of 17. These days people just say ‘stuff happens’ and then they move on!

    March 22, 2017 at 11:54
    • Anja van Kralingen Reply

      Hi Suna, I must admit I didn’t know this song, so I googled the lyrics and for all those who does not know it as well, I am sharing the last two verses. Thank you!:
      Soon within my tapestry, along the rutted road,
      He sat down on a river rock and turned into a toad
      It seemed that he had fallen into someone’s wicked spell,
      And I wept to see him suffer, though I didn’t know him well
      As I watched in sorrow, there suddenly appeared
      A figure, gray and ghostly, beneath a flowing beard
      In times of deepest darkness, I’ve seen him dressed in black
      Now my tapestry’s unraveling; he’s come to take me back
      He’s come to take me back

      March 22, 2017 at 18:34
  • Heidi Marais Reply

    Wow, Anja, I read your words not knowing that you wrote them. Sometimes I don’t see the important things, maybe that is how it is meant to be. Your article is brilliant in so many ways. It touched my heart deeply and took me back to a place I don’t want to remember, but I had to visit it anyway, just to remind me of how it felt. When I saw that you wrote it, it touched me in a different way. Then when I read Stephens comment I was floored. I do believe in love. Love is real. I do believe in chemistry, and I believe chemistry can be misleading and disruptive, to say the least. I also feel that we all have similar feelings inside that cannot be described by words. Feeling blessed and enriched to know you from your hearts perspective, even if only for the few minutes that I read this article. Thank you.

    March 22, 2017 at 18:34
    • Anja van Kralingen Reply

      Hi Heidi. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this and your touching comment. Your words really moved me.

      March 23, 2017 at 08:20
  • Ray Reply

    I had a girlfriend after my marriage of twenty years fell apart. I told to slow down, I did not want to have that kind of commitment to soon, it is not that I did not love her. I was head over heels, however I just wanted to get to know her, to take walks in the park, to hold hands and see where it took us. However, she said she had to jump in with both feet, that we had to move forward at a faster rate. I left to finish school as she wanted me to not finish and to work on our relationship. I saw her the other day and she gave me the I’m number one sign. She does not know that I still think of her 3 1/2 years later, that I still love her and that my eyes still tear for her. both of us were heart broken and I do not know if I will ever feel the same for another. This probably does not make any sense, I just felt like I needed to get it out. Thanks for listening

    March 22, 2017 at 19:27
    • Anja van Kralingen Reply

      Hi Ray. I wrote this post knowing that many women would be able to relate to it and it is so meaningful to me that men like you are willing to share and make yourself so vulnerable. Thank you so much!

      March 23, 2017 at 08:16
  • Grigor Reply

    Let me start with… Wow… I think deep down I have always felt what it means to be in love and to commit to a relationship. This feeling is also what has kept me from moving my relationships past arms reach, whether they are platonic relationships/ friendships or those with a significant other.

    After reading your post and Stephen’s reply that perhaps part of what makes it so magical & transformative is not knowing where it will lead you. Just hoping, showing the parts of us that, and I agree wholeheartedly with Stephen, we have been conditioned to hide from others. I think the hardest thing for me going forward will be just accepting how painful and scary it will be to just jump head first from that plane without worrying about where I am going to land, hoping that my partner will feel the same way, and together guiding our falling bodies so we can land somewhere. And hopefully where we land will be a beautiful place, but if it isn’t, just accepting that where we ended up is different from where we started. Even if it didn’t end with that dream of being married, having children, and living in a house with a white picket fence, that we both grew through it all.

    Thank you for sharing this!

    March 22, 2017 at 23:19
    • Anja van Kralingen Reply

      I love your comment Grigor. So beautifully written and expressed. Thank you so much!

      March 23, 2017 at 08:14
  • Amanda Laubscher-Holtzhausen Reply

    Wow Anja and Stephen, thank you for sharing such a vulnerable journey with us. Thank you for the gift your course brought into my life; to work through my own barriers to love .

    March 23, 2017 at 11:27
    • Anja van Kralingen Reply

      Thank you Amanda! Your comment brings to mind Rumi: Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.

      March 23, 2017 at 14:18
      • Gloria Reply

        Anja, this is an awesome read (comments included) which has touched me in so many ways. I will make a more pertinent comment when I have composed my thoughts but just wanted to comment on the Rumi quote. In spite of what is propagated across the internet, it isnt from Rumi, it is from A Course in Miracles. The whole quote is: “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all of the barriers within yourself that you have built against it. It is not necessary to seek for what is true, but it is necessary to seek for what is false. Every illusion is one of fear, whatever form it takes. And the attempt to escape from one illusion into another must fail. If you seek love outside yourself you can be certain that you perceive hatred within, and are afraid of it. Yet peace will never come from the illusion of love, but only from its reality.” When I first came across it, I was out walking and listening to the audio version and when I heard the bit about perceiving hatred within, it literally stopped me in my tracks. Could that be true? At that time I had to admit it was. It was just after my second husband left me for someone else and I was shattered and blamed myself. 14 years later and a lot of deep inner work, it is no longer true but whenever I see that quote attribtued to Rumi, I feel an urge to expand it into the fullness of the original context. As it says in the quote we don’t want to look at our self hatred – I certainly didn’t but was forced to and this was the true gift in my heartbreak. We cannot love fully until we have dealt with its shadow side. Love is a trickster!

        April 28, 2017 at 04:34
  • Michelle Blignaut Reply

    Hello Anja. Well now, how my heart rejoiced in finding similar minded people who are so comfortable with their inner selves. In the last five years of my existence, I set myself a goal of exploring love and while I retained an objective, analytical view through most of my experiences, it did not cancel out the emotional interaction between me and the men I have been involved with and to date. I have gathered men friends from all my love interests in the aftermath of the tears and pain of the heartbreak for the very reason this institute exists, we spoke deeply and meaningfully about the emotional element with the compatibility paradigm! There is an intimacy of the mind that supersedes the emotions of the heart.
    I do not yet have the exact formula in what would constitute a successful relationship but what emerged from my conversations with these men and has been echoed by a number of men in this thread, is that men(forgive me for generalising) do not experience the same emotional intensity that women experience and this is not an indictment. It “just is”, an anomaly of being masculine. Men tend to be more rational and women more emotionally motivated and thus women rush in and embrace all the marvelous feelings of being in love with all the euphoria that goes with the glorious chemical release that takes place. Men love very deeply but cautiously and when they have loved and been rejected and hurt, they hide their emotions even more deeply and peer through a telescope from within their soul to see if the landscape contains any hidden bombs. women are far too impatient, far more trusting and forgiving and expect the men to be the same as them. You are right in your allusion that you projected your feelings onto the man but it wasn’t the love you felt that you projected onto him. From my perspective we need to undestand and become sensitively aware of where a man ends and where we begin. Yes, all these principles apply to all relationships but within the context of romance this is so very important. Falling in love is wonderful and beautiful and I loved each new man for different reasons but the delight I felt was real every time. What I have concluded after all these years is that men have the answer. Be cautious with your emotions, slowly, slowly engage. It drives the feminine side of me batty and I go home and rant to the walls but life is a lot less tearful now.

    April 6, 2017 at 17:42
    • Anja van Kralingen Reply

      Thank you Michelle for this valuable feedback and for your share. All the best to you in your search for love. 🙂

      April 9, 2017 at 10:19
  • Nadia Reply

    All I can say is (’cause I have no words) thank you! My heart and my spectations are aching, yawning and hoping to feel that twilight again.

    April 7, 2017 at 17:24
    • Anja van Kralingen Reply

      Thanks Nadia!

      April 9, 2017 at 10:20
  • Liliana Patricia Reply

    Thank you for sharing your article. Definitely a lot to reflect on. I shared it with a friend who recently experienced a break up.

    June 4, 2017 at 08:49
  • Mick D Reply

    Dear Anja,

    Your stunning narrative and Stephen’s incredibly honest and moving response are what brought me to the Conscious Living Programme. I’m so glad I stumbled across this blog because it changed the direction of my life. It helped reaffirmed my belief in the importance of self-knowledge and personal courage in the journey to psychic maturity or Individuation. Yours and Stephen’s generosity of Soul and wisdom shines out of every sentence. Respect and thanks to you both.

    December 24, 2018 at 00:02

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