It’s with a mounting pile of tissues next to me that I let you know that Bloody Good Chap and I recently made the extremely difficult decision to end our beautiful relationship. We had the most incredible half a decade together, during which time BGC was the backbone of Project Self – both in front of the camera in the many couple selfies he graciously offered his long arms for, and behind the scenes with his ridiculous levels of support, encouragement and sage (and hilarious) business advice. We still love each other more than ever, and are both leaving the relationship as a more confident, more self-aware, and more fulfilled version of ourselves as a result of our time together. After months of consideration, we came to the difficult conclusion that we’re growing in different directions. Just two best friends realising that no matter how hard they tried, they just couldn’t align the different way they want their futures to play out. It’s been the most beautiful break up you could ever imagine.
If we were into wankery, we’d call it a conscious uncoupling.
But luckily we’re not. There was no fighting, no resentment, no anger, no rejection. Our relationship was better than any relationship I’ve ever known right up until the day we decided to go our separate ways, and we’re still hanging out as close friends. Bloody Good Chap has read this post and given me permission to publish it.
That being said, much ugly crying has been done.
There’s so much beauty and aliveness in the sorrow that comes with letting go of something so beautiful. Our relationship is the epitome of unconditional love – just because we’ve broken up we don’t love each other any less. This is how real love works, not the attaching, clingy kind that makes you resentful and angry when things don’t turn out how you want. As my mate Buddha said, “In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.” I’m sharing this with you because as a longtime reader of Project Self, I feel like you’ve been on this adventure with us. Project Self kicked off not long before Bloody Good Chap and I went on our first Tinder date,
and I know you guys love him and his hilarious quotes almost as much as I do!
It felt odd to continue to write the blog without letting you know. I also wanted to share this with you to illustrate a life lesson that keeps hitting me over the head: Following your gut isn’t always fun. It isn’t always easy. It’s often the more difficult route. To follow your gut is more often than not the scariest option. It asks you to leap off a cliff and learn to fly on the way down. When we’re feeling stuck, it’s often because we think we don’t know what we need to do. But deep down, we usually know.
And the answer scares the shit out of us.
The battle between our primitive brain (fear, safety), and our gut instinct (growth, excitement, inspiration, thriving) can keep us treading water for a lifetime. If there’s a decision you’ve been deliberating over, or you’re feeling a bit stagnant, ask yourself – are you REALLY that unsure of what you need to do? If no one would judge you, and you knew for sure it would all work out, what would you do?
Sometimes it can take a fair whack of time before you’re ready to admit it to yourself,
which is what happened with me and Bloody Good Chap. We discussed it months ago, but neither of us were ready to let our beautiful relationship go for a long time. I don’t regret a single minute of the time we spent together. It’s ok to take your time to prepare yourself for the journey ahead and to savour what you have right now. The first step is sometimes just to say it out loud to someone. “I think I need to do X…” Following your gut takes incredible courage. It takes the ability to face painful emotions. And it takes the ability to stop your mind from hindering your journey with rumination and catastrophising. I wouldn’t be able to keep following the path of my Bloody Good Life without leaning heavily on the mind-taming and emotion regulation skills I teach in the Bloody Good Life programs.
Your gut will always take you on a route towards growth, which inevitably means growing pains.
The end of a relationship. The end of a career. The start of something. The first few months of living in a new city. A long time ago I committed to following my gut no matter what. It always seems to know best, even when there is no logical explanation, and I end up veering off the well beaten path yet again. Somehow it always works out in a way that is far more bloody good than I could ever have imagined. The path ahead isn’t clear, but like a compass directing us north, we have to trust that our internal compass knows the way
even when our IQ brain can’t work out WTF is going on.
The IQ brain is wired for survival, not happiness. Only the gut knows which path will most fulfill you. Will you follow it?