Break-ups. Divorce. Separation. So painful.

Often, we are so angry or sad or hurt or even surprised when our romantic relationship is ending that it’s difficult to show up lovingly and consciously. After all, we’re busy running away, throwing blame, or just too damn shut down.

Here’s the truth: It’s painful when relationships end. Even if we want it to end.

But if we shut down, run away, or throw blame, then we’re not taking responsibility for how we’ve shown up or what part we’ve played in the demise of the relationship – and trust me, you’ve played a part. Even if not in being overtly horrible to your partner, you may have abandoned yourself – but there’s a part – and it can be painful to own.

If we’ve truly owned our responsibility in it, then we are able to walk away calmly and lovingly. Walking away lovingly with grief, love, and compassion is the goal.

That phrase – I don’t love her or him anymore – I don’t buy it. I think it’s bullshit. As humans, we’re programmed to love, and since energy can’t be destroyed (thank you Einstein), chances are the love hasn’t gone anywhere, we’ve just shifted it to something more destructive. You’re either shut down, reacting from wounded anger, or you’ve decided you no longer wish to be with your partner, but I guarantee that when you’re clear and conscious, you can feel the compassion, gratitude, and love well up in your heart. After all, that’s who YOU are – a bright, brimming soul filled with love.

So how do we show up lovingly and consciously while at the same time separating out from our relationships?

First, take responsibility for your part in it. Feel the remorse you’re meant to feel. Search your past and present actions for things that fall out of your own definition of integrity and love.

Then, own it with your soon-to-be-ex-partner. Own it with full empathy and awareness for how your actions or words or deeds may have impacted him or her. This is where a lot of us tend to get stuck because we withhold with thoughts like, “my partner doesn’t deserve that,” or “why do I owe that to him or her?” or “he/she should be the one doing that for me!” (Which, let’s just remember the Course in Miracles principle here – The only thing that can be missing in any situation is what you’re not giving. – yup. Read that sentence a few times!) You see, the key is you’re not doing this for him or her. You’re doing this for YOU! This helps you claim who you are and how you want to show up in your relationships going forward. This, my love, is for you!

Plus, owning your shit and feeling the impact on your ex means that you’re most likely not going to carry that behavior forward in your next relationship. Also, compassionate, heartfelt apologies go a long way in diffusing tension and opening the recipient’s heart.

Being self-responsible means you can no longer be trapped in victim mode – and it’s a sure-fire way to reclaim your power after a relationship dissolves.

If your partner isn’t open to this kind of healing closure, don’t let that stop you. You can still own it, feel its impact, and send your partner loving thoughts.

Let’s also remember that once we’re connected to a person, we’re forever connected. (Thank you Quantum Physics!) So be conscious about what you’re wishing for your partner. Because you’re connected, what you wish for him or her, you’re also wishing for yourself.

This does not mean to say or think, “I wish him or her the best,” if you really hope he or she gets hit by a bus or never finds love. Those deep, shadowy feelings are just the feelings you’ll want to own and honor because they are connected to your hurt, disappointment, and anger – and that’s certainly NOT what you want to carry into your next relationship.

Find yourself a therapist or healer and dig into all the shadows. Pour light over all those bad boys so you feel clean, clear, and ready to move gracefully and with a fully open heart into your next relationship.

You deserve happiness and love. Open your heart to feel the love already there, and just watch what comes knocking on your door.