My Honest Perspective on Breaking Up

We called off our engagement last night

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You know somebody like me.

Somebody who smiles at the clouds, sings with the birds, walks on air when she’s in love.

You know somebody who loves incredibly fiercely, fully, and wholeheartedly.

You know somebody who is not afraid to be 100%-all-in-all-the-time-come-hell-or-high-water-in-love.

You either know her, or you are her.


I love entirely. My whole being rejoices when it finds yet another one of my soulmates walking this earth. My heart leaps to know there are humans in my sphere who connect with their souls as deeply as I do. I have lived past lives with them. I hear where they have been and where they want to go. I see beyond the everyday.

But I’m just as guilty as everyone else of being seduced by the magic. Being dismissive, ignorant, or all-too-hopeful of realistically piecing a life together.

She was “what’s next” for me. Our love was my next move, my next Christmas, my next big adventure. I had already spent lifetimes with her — why not this one too?

We had both agreed to leap. To fall. To see where life took us.

I said yes to the ring. To the move. To the future.

We were ready. 
(Or we thought we were.)


What’s happened now is a change of focus. A change in plans. The future looks different to both of us… and we didn’t recognize how different until things got tense. Until things stopped being fun or funny. Until we talked.

Facing the truth and making the decision to respect it is a radical, Earth-shattering, devastating act of love.

The smiling, singing, and air-walking drastically converts to sobbing, withdrawing, and carrying the weight of my heart’s loss.

I will miss her. I will mourn her. I will love her.


From the outside, the way I love seems frivolous, passionate, stupid. To “be this way” is to be naive. Foolhardy. Dramatic.

But do you know what it feels like on the inside — to have your heart totally consumed?

Full.

It feels full.

Full of love, full of pain, full of joy, full of despair — my heart is a channel for my experiences.

And through my work I know the more intensely I offer myself up to my emotions, the more rapidly healing occurs.

I remember.

But I don’t hold on.

I mourn.

But I do not wallow.

I grieve.

But it is not forever.


I hated waking up this morning and realizing what my life feels like now.

(The fullness of my heart has nothing to do with the fact that sometimes I don’t “want” to be feeling my feelings.)

But I know in the grand scheme of things, our breaking up, our calling off the engagement, our intense awareness of what we want and need — is that radical, earth-shattering, devastating act of love.

I’m proud and silent. Desolate and nostalgic. Sinking and floating.

The beautiful messiness of grief is that my heart is never full of just one thing.

It is full of everything. All at once.

What I can say moving forward is this:

  1. I miss you. My heart will call for you — especially late at night when I can’t sleep — and I will tell it, tearfully, that it’s just the two of us now. That we can do this without you.
  2. I love you. Strikingly. Fiercely. Wholly. I love you.
  3. Goodbye. I don’t understand all of it, but grief has taught me there is divinity in our decisions. Thank you for sharing my life with me. Thank you for adhering yourself to my soul and allowing me the same. I’m immensely grateful for our experience together.

Now slowly, achingly, brokenly, fully into the future.

Even through grief, we are growing. ♥


Shelby Forsythia is the host of the podcast Coming Back: Conversations on life after loss where she tells the truth about life after death, divorce, diagnosis, and more. www.shelbyforsythia.com.