MOST people will experience the emptiness of an ended relationship some time in their life, but is that emptiness necessarily a bad thing?
That depends on your perspective.
Comedian and media personality Meshel Laurie found her Buddhism a great help when her 19-year marriage was ending and looked for a book on the subject to guide her path.
There wasn’t one, so she wrote one herself.
The result, Buddhism For Break-ups, offers paths for navigating broken hearts and views breakups as opportunities for personal growth and greater happiness.
“The West sees the emptiness we feel as a terrible thing, a desperately sad situation, because we are constantly filling ourselves up,” said Laurie.
“But from the Buddhist perspective, emptiness is something to strive for.
“It helps clear our minds of preconceptions and biases. It helps us to look at our situation as it is today, without fantasies of what you wish for or memories of what you once had.”
Accepting the impermanence of all things, of good times and bad times, was the key, Laurie said.
She had a “dream run” in her life until she broke up with a close friend in her 30s and her marriage ended in her early 40s.
“All of our relationships will end, whether you’re 19 and have lost the love of your life or 90 and have lost your life partner,” Laurie said.
“It happens even to the luckiest of couples, because one day one of them will die.”
She said the main point of her book was to encourage people to take responsibility for their own emotions.
“Your happiness is not someone else’s responsibility, it’s yours,” she said.
* Meshel Laurie will appear in conversation with Mia Freedman at Dymocks in the city on Thursday, February 23 at 12.30pm. Free event.