Kissing Frogs and Reclaimed Frogs: Finish Up the Unfinished

Do you have an ex with whom you have "unfinished business"? If so, my dear, now is the time to clear it up.

When I brought an old flame back around to visit the family, my sweet, Southern sister commented, "Don't worry, Shug. ALL of our men around here are recycled."

We all laughed, of course, but it made me look around and realize, Wow! Yes, there certainly are some reclaimed men here. The truth is, some are now happily married, and the time spent apart apparently had offered them the opportunity to grow and become better people.

I bring this up because if you are dating and getting mixed results, sometimes it can be as simple as this: You're giving off mixed energetic signals. As "woo-woo" New Age-y as that may sound, when we're still attached to someone, it can prevent a new Mr. Wonderful from being able to come forward -- because he is likely picking up that you are not really available.

"Hold on a second," you might be saying. "How can I tell whether or not I'm still attached to an ex-flame?" Search your heart and actions: Do you say his name often? Do you look at his social media, compare him to current dates or still occasionally have "feelings" for him? A "yes" to any of the above questions means it's likely you haven't truly released him.

Don't fret, though. It's possible for you to do some "inner" work about him to get clear about what "went wrong," which can give you some healthy perspective about why you're no longer together.

I suggest if you recognize the importance of doing some inner work you find a way to either revisit that old love in some form in order to more clearly understand its purpose and potential -- or get professional help so as to transform the experience.

Certainly, you can find a wide variety of approaches to consider, when choosing to do your own inner work to more fully release any lingering attachments to your ex. (Just "Google" the phrase "inner work to release attachments" and you'll see what I mean.) Please note: I advise using your intuition in any such exploration, so you're being led by something more "in touch" with your true needs. But some examples include: write a "letting go of you" letter to him -- which you don't deliver, but instead ceremoniously burn or bury; or do a ritual in which you "objectively witness and say goodbye" to the abridged "movie" of your relationship with him.

Choosing to get some professional help can have a variety of faces: counselors, pastors, energy workers, shamans, massage therapists, etc. The goal of getting professional help is to consciously recognize, understand and be willing to let go of or revamp the pattern between the two of you, so as to either go forward separately and independently with a healthier, more illumined perspective or determine you're going to consciously commit to being in a relationship together again, with a clear understanding of your breakdown.

I consider it wise to get as clear as possible (i.e., a thorough, conscious sense of "the lay of the land") to decode whether your breakup was a simple matter of "bad timing" or whether you need more information to determine your course forward. Have you both grown as a result of the breakup? If reconciliation is on the table, what is going to be different this time? As Albert Einstein allegedly once observed, "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result."

Whether on your own or with the help of a professional, pay close attention to what slips easily into place and what feels natural. Mind your body and the signals you get, both when you're around him and when you're on your own. Tap in deeply: are you anxious or scattered around him? Do you feel drained? Are you happy and content, and do you breathe easily while you're with him? Do you feel at peace... or not so much? Do you feel loved, supported, heard, free, trusted, enough? Listen with your whole being as you respond to these important questions.

In the healing arts, we work on the body to release old trauma... but such work can also reveal a lot about your "true north" and whether or not this relationship is a "right fit." Often enough, your body just knows what you may not know how to explain. I cannot emphasize this point enough: pay attention to how you feel.

Sometimes, when I'm in a challenging situation and want to know whether to move forward or change course, I pray: "God (Universe, whatever Higher Power you choose), what would you have me do now and what would you have me learn from this relationship? Help me understand its purpose and direction. Please give me the strength and clarity to change course, if I need to."

The man in my parents' kitchen didn't end up being "Mr. Warren." After reconnecting, we dated long enough to both realize that, although we loved each other, our vision of a long-term relationship was different enough that we needed to part and find what we each were seeking. My disappointment he and I didn't marry doesn't overshadow the transformation I experienced and the truly cherishable benefits of our time together.

Clean up your unfinished business, Intrepid One! You never know who might show up!