Embracing your Shadows


On my search for a problem that occurred with my camera during a photoshoot, I browsed youtube. And came along a video by Sean Tucker. He makes beautiful videos about photography (Sean Tucker on YouTube).

Well, the video didn’t bring an answer. Actually, after watching the video I was shuttered in pieces yet another time. Spending the next hours crying and shaking again. Will it ever stop. In a few weeks, it will pass the two-year mark of the breakup and I haven’t healed.

What I miss is my trust in people, trust in my feelings, in my ability to judge and experience, being my usual open self.

What I miss is my trust in people

How Sean Tucker faced the situation (at least on YouTube) was stunning to me, very brave and open.

I realised that I am ashamed, I didn’t realise that before. How deeply and utterly I am ashamed. And his Video made me see. I am not alone. What I needed wasn’t the pity or advice of humans I unfortunately called once my friends. But someone, just one person saying – it is not you. There are many out there. You are not alone. So I wrote him a letter. Which I didn’t send of course. The last thing he needs next to a trillion comments on YouTube is a letter from a stranger.

Am I a total failure as a human being? As a lover? As a woman?

Hello Sean,
I am a photographer based in Berlin and coming across your channel on and off. Especially your approach of shadow embracing did stick with me - I am still having discussions with clients about shadows.

Usually on YouTube what I am looking for is a solution for something, an answer - I actually searched for a photography problem I was facing and your video was suggested as an answer.

And it was. 

Although not to my photography question but to the one: „Am I a total failure as a human being? As a lover? As a woman?

Through your video I just realised how ashamed I am still, caused by the break up almost 2 years ago.

As your relationship was - my relationship was a difficult one too. Very. With a British Musician who then moved to Berlin with me. And then, after 8 very difficult years it became a happy relationship (I thought). Trust, love and laughter seemed to have come back for another two beautiful years. These two years made me fall in love again and even deeper with my boyfriend. And then one morning he made plans for a holiday trip for us and in the afternoon he came home sat down looked at me like a stranger and said „I don’t want to be with you anymore“, packed all his stuff and moved out without another word. I have been in a shock since then. 

The worst of all was and still is that I am ashamed. Ashamed that I felt happy and loved while my partner was already gone in his heart. Ashamed that I cannot trust neither mine nor other peoples feelings. Ashamed that I have to experience a rejection that is so cold as if I have never existed.
How shall I ever trust someone or my feelings again?

I wish I could move like you do now. Facing all the people - once friends, adds just another layer of hurt and shame to it. 

Sorry, I think the last thing you want is to hear another sad heartbroken whiney person. But when I saw your video - I felt a tiny bit less ashamed. 

It might not help you, and I cannot say a single word that will make you feel better - probably no one can. But suddenly knowing someone else experienced something similar made me feel a fraction better.

Thank you so much for sharing your shadows one more time.

And to you, dear reader – If you are going to break up with someone let me give you this on your way:

If you have to leave, by all means go. There might be no good way to break up, but there is a respectful way. Leave your lover knowing nothing was wasted – just changed. It might always be hurtful, but I know by experience it doesn’t has to be shocking and shaming and destroying. Even as a big coward or asshole, one can do a good and respectful breakup. And don’t involve other people. If you leave your partner behind he might need some friends, friends he can trust.

If you have to leave, by all means go.