Wow, you and I have been together a long time.
More than 40 years, that’s longer than most marriages. It’s been quite a run we’ve had together. Sure there were struggles, there were fights, but I also remember all the times I cozied up with you, wrapping myself in your arms when disappointed or hurt, letting you soothe me by reminding me that whatever it was that I didn’t get, it was never meant to be.
I am so appreciative. Like remember the time when I was eight and I wanted to start ballet again and you told me that it was too late because Jenny what’s her name had been taking ballet since she was six? That was a good one! Or when I was six and I wanted to be an artist and you told me that copying a Miro painting was not the same thing as being an artist with an original idea so I should just stop drawing? Wow, you very well may have saved me from a life of starvation along the banks of the river Seine!
All the times you told me I could never have a relationship, that I wasn’t pretty enough or thin enough or young enough – that was very helpful during some bad break ups and lean dating years in Los Angeles. Oh, and let’s not forget the “you’re too old” and “it’s too late” memes that you repeated since I can remember. Wow, those really stopped me from moving forward with my desires before I was truly ready.
And my very favorite was the day – I wish I could remember when exactly it was – that you taught me to say “yeah, but…” to any compliment, congratulations or recognition that I received. That “yeah, but…” trick has really come in handy over the years to keep me from flying too high and burning up in the outer atmosphere before I had the proper space suit.
Limiting beliefs, we’ve had some good times, you and I. We’ve really been so inseparable, so completed entwined in one another that sometimes I forget where you end and I begin. In many ways, you are the voice in my head. I hope that you will remember our years together fondly because I’ve realized recently that we don’t have a future together.
I know this comes as a shock. I have to tell you, I am equally shocked. I really thought we would be together forever. But it’s clear to me that you and I need to end this relationship. It’s not been good for a long time. You know it’s true. I’ve been fighting you more and more and that can’t be pleasant for you. I know that it isn’t for me. So before one of us says or does something we regret, something we can’t take back, isn’t it best to end it now?
I am forever grateful to you for all the ways that you comforted me and for all the lessons that you taught me. I know that you only gave me what I told you I wanted and needed. I know this is hard to hear but I’ve outgrown you.
And no, there isn’t something else at this point, but I do know that you aren’t able to provide what I need. I believe there is something out there, an expansive belief system waiting for me, that can provide for the person I am today. And be honest, I can’t provide what you need either. I’m not that malleable, insecure girl you once knew. I’m a woman who needs to go off on her own and create her own future…without you.
Please don’t contact me, stalk me on Facebook or try to reach me through our mutual friends Doubt, Fear and Disappointment. I know this seems harsh but I think that we both need space now to heal and find our happiness. We will get over each other and I know that someday you will agree with me that this was for the best.
I wish you all the best, and I will certainly always have a soft spot in my heart for you, but we are finished.
How would you break up with your limiting beliefs?
Leslie Berliant has been an entrepreneur, journalist, poet, author, dancer, pastry chef and chocolatier. She has studied with beat poet Jack Grapes, screenwriter Karin Gutman, and authors Jackie Parker, Jim Krusoe and Kurt Vonnegut. Her work has been included in the anthologies Big City Mantra and Deliver Us and she has read her work at Hotel Café’s Tongue and Groove, Spark, Cherry Branch Gallery and other venues around New York and Los Angeles. She has also been published in numerous online and print publications including Celsias, where she was editor-in-chief, Jewish Journal, Tribe Magazine and more. In addition to her writing, she danced and performed at Gus Giordano, Futorian Dance Theater, and the American School of Russian Ballet and currently teaches ballet at Studio North. She is the head pastry chef and chocolatier at her company, Le Marais Chocolat, where she makes chocolate, pastries and raw desserts using local, organic and Fair Trade ingredients and teaches cooking and pastry making. She also trained as a creative faciliator at the Thinkubator and is an evangelist for creativity for creativity’s sake!