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It has been a year since Melody and I ended our time together as a married couple, and I continue to learn and grow from our experience.  More and more I can see and embrace each part of what Melody and our relationship mirrored for me.  Melody and I are now loving and supportive friends and I have immense compassion and appreciation for both of us and for all we experienced together.  My NVC practice has transformed my life in so many ways, but never have I been so grateful for NVC than during my separation with Melody. c

It is remarkable what happened when Melody and I let go of blame and judgements and saw each other as doing our best.  With compassion and understanding we were able to agree that our needs would be better met as friends than as a couple.  We learned in a very deep way that a foundation of an empowered NVC practice is to stay deeply self-connected to the life-energy of our needs while not being attached to outcomes.

The friendship we now enjoy was born out of the time and care we put into our separation.  As we slowly pulled our lives apart, we continued to take time to be together, to share openly and give each other empathy.  It wasn’t always easy for me to continue connecting, and there were times when I wanted to just run and turn my back on it all–my old and not very healing or fulfilling response to separation and loss.  But I managed to keep showing up as best I could so that our separation could be healing for both of us.  Fortunately, thanks to Melody’s suggestion and persistence, we also took time to celebrate and honour our relationship.  We spent an entire morning remembering fond times together and appreciating each other and what we’d learned and accomplished together.  Also very powerful and precious to me was the separation ceremony we had with some of our family and close friends, most of whom had also been at our wedding.  It was an incredible gift to be witnessed and held by our community with love and acceptance. With family and friends of all ages, we went through a simple and profound ceremony of separation.  There was song and silence, tears and laughter, stories and blessings, and lots of food.   It was a warm spring day with the sun pouring down: A fine day to let go.

Over the year since our separation I have continued to let go of my relationship with Melody through grieving and appreciation.  At times the grieving has been so sweet that it’s hard to tell it apart from the appreciation.  And the more I let go, the more I free myself from my projections, and the more aware and accepting I am of those parts of myself that I wasn’t able to see and accept while in relationship with Melody.

The following is an excerpt of writing from the time of our separation a year ago.

I’m eating another delicious and nourishing meal prepared by my dear friend Melody.  We eat and chat about the new directions each of us is taking.  Together we brainstorm new business names for our new ventures.  We laugh big belly laughs with tears in our eyes as we come up with creative, bizarre, and ridiculous names in an effort to convey the essence of our businesses.  There is sadness too as we sort out all that we created together.  Dividing our belongings is easier than pulling apart and letting go of the visions that we shared.  And as we always have, we each do our best to be as present as we can for ourselves and for each other, with the mourning of what we’re letting go, with the gratitude for what we experienced together, with the excitement of what is to come.  This is a new and healing experience for me of ending an intimate relationship, of moving from intimate partnership to close, caring friends.