I’m a holder-oner to memories. I OD on nostalgia. Sometimes it’s like the only way I look is back. I keep things with me longer than I should. I honestly think this stems from the fact that I don’t have kids or a family (and by family I mean someone living in a house with me who cooks and does laundry) so new things just don’t happen to me.
I hang onto exes the same way. I spend hours obsessing “what did I do wrong”? “What would have happened if we stayed together”? “Why didn’t I think of that comeback in that argument we had”?
But today, my friends – today I say NO MORE. To repurpose the best line ever to come out Game of Thrones… “what do we say to the memories of exes? NOT TODAY”
So I decided to do something about it – but where to start?
I knew that candles are used for lots of stuff and magic so I started my search there. I found the Black 7 Day Break Up Candle on Amazon. If you didn’t know, Amazon is the place to look for spiritual items. I didn’t read the fine print, just kind of saw “7 day break up” and I thought “I’ve been dealing with these feelings for years so one week sounds perfect” I got the candle and read the VERY fine print on the back. It was pretty ugly. Invoke the spirit of hate? Here is what it said:
I invoke and offer this prayer in the name of the Holy Spirit of hate: To the Guardian Angel of (his name and her name), inspire in these two people a hate so powerful that they can never remember each other’s names without feeling hate. Turn all their joyful memories into painful nightmares. If they ever meet and want to see each other, I invoke the spirit of all roads to separate their pathways. Amen.
So, clearly, I didn’t read the Amazon description fully because I’m not trying to break up a relationship, I just want these memories out of my head. I mean whoever ended up with these men can have them. I lit the candle, against better judgment and watched it burn. I got a really ugly feeling in my spirit so I blew it out and threw it away.
After this experience with Amazon-related spirituality, I decided to reach out to an actual professional. I called my dear friend Sandra Wright who is a Salem Witch, dedicated High Priestess and now an author! Sandra reads my tarot on a fairly regular basis. She has helped me greatly navigate my life through her insightful reading of the cards. Example: in a reading long ago she turned a card that basically said – and I am totally paraphrasing here, she said it with much more kindness: “this card shows that everyone thinks you’re an asshole”. So I stopped being an asshole. I told her what I was up to and she sent me instructions to release the past. According to Sandra “you must fully embrace the present, and realize that any attempts to bring the past into the present will cause discord and stress”. Well, that explains A LOT. As I said earlier I literally live in the past. My living room is covered in 80’s memorabilia. I can’t let it go. Anyhoo. First up she says to get rid of items that contain the energy of the owner. I began to search the house for remnants of the men who came before. The first thing I came upon was a dish full of glass shards from a time when my window out when he was mad. I’ve kept it as a reminder not to let that happen again. But I realized it was just filled with awful energy so out it went. I followed with t-shirts, pictures from my phone, a dish filled with shards of glass from a broken window that I thought was reminding me not to do that again and instead was just keeping nasty energy near me, framed photos I’d hidden away, and cards. The cards. Why do we keep this shit?
I felt much lighter so I moved on to the spell. I got together a bowl, a small white candle in a holder and a bay leaf. I wrote the name of the person (ok persons, I had a lot of bay leaves) and was told to concentrate on the reasons the relationship cannot continue.
Each reason comes with a statement “for this and other reasons, I am unbound.” I then lit the candle and set the leaf (ok leaves) on fire and watched them burn. She said the final step is to say aloud the following
When these ashes hit the ground,
no trace of you with me is found.
I cut you loose to set me free,
our ties are severed permanently.
As I do will, so mote it be
I then took the ashes and scattered them outside letting the wind take them and watching as they disappeared.
After the ritual, I truly felt better. I did. I don’t know if it will last forever, but going through those deliberate steps and saying the words aloud, something let go. And that something is the something I don’t want back.
So once I did all of that I decided to delve into the reasons breakups happen. Get a little psychology in the mix. I have therapy every week, so this is a well-covered territory. I came across a great blog post by Mark Manson, the New York Times bestselling author of The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*uck and my new personal hero.
The man speaks my language. In the post of which I speak, he addresses “toxic relationships” and how you need the drama. You don’t need the person, you need the drama. Also, Toxic Relationships is my new band name.
Toxic relationships only ever survive on drama, and as the drama ramps up to keep the relationship going, you become dependent on that drama, or even addicted to it. And then you’re really fucked because now the meaning you derive from that toxic relationship is skewed and distorted. You start thinking that irrational jealousy or controlling behavior or dickish and snide comments were somehow actually signs of their undying love for you.
So basically, if he’s yelling he cares. Or more to the point, if I was yelling I cared. I cared so fucking much I had to amplify my words with anger. Woof, that one spoke to me. I thought on that for a day or two. I really set my intention on it. Jesus that sounds so self-helpy, but you get it. I replayed back so many moments in my past and present that were overflowing with vitriol. Yelling was all I had because the relationship wasn’t there, just my need to have one. These relationships had imprints from my fingers as I held on with white-knuckled terror of them flying away. That all my relationships follow this path. So, as I’ve said many times before, I know the problem is me. I simply stay too long.
At this point, I felt like I had really made some progress. But then my friends, I got in my car. I plugged in my phone. I pressed shuffle. And then I cried all the way home. IT’S THE MUSIC – THE FUCKING MUSIC. I associate music with places, times, people and now I realized why I felt like shit every day and why I missed these men every day. Because I was letting someone sing songs in my ear every minute of every day that only brought up the bad. So as soon as I got home I went on a full-frontal assault on my playlist. I mean right down the middle. It was sad to let them go because sometimes I like to cry in my car – don’t judge I know you do it too. But I did it.
Have I cracked the code? No chance. Have I found a way to exorcise the demons a bit? I think I did. I let go through ritual, through therapy, through letting go of that which is toxic, and through the music. So there are songs I won’t sing anymore, but it’s for the best.
Except for “China” from the Red Rockers. You can never have that one back.