Exercise: Parting and Departing
Intention: To end a relationship
Frequency: Each morning for three to five minutes, for seven days


Close your eyes. Breathe in and out three times and see yourself on a beach.
The one with whom you wish to end the relationship is lying there. You have with you
golden ropes with lead weights at the ends. With these you truss up your "friend."
Nearby in a large rowboat. Put your "friend" in the boat and row out to the
Marianas Trench off the Philippines, one of the deepest spots in the world. Stand
up in the boat and lift your "friend’s" trussed-up body, and toss it overboard,
knowing that you are ridding yourself of that person. Watch the body disappear
as it sinks, leaving a small whirlpool behind it. Know that it is going to the
bottom, never to surface. After it has sunk out of sight, sit down in the boat
and row back to shore with a new sense of yourself. When you reach the shore,
stow the oars and beach the boat. Return to your home alone. Then open your
eyes.


. . . and realize what you’ve done. Panting like an animal, you quickly run back
to the beach, realizing that this is like one of your nightmares—you’ve left someone,
usually Ivan, somewhere, completely forgetting about him, and then you rush around
in a panic, searching unsuccessfully for your poor defenseless baby, imagining
all sorts of horrors. You get back into the rowboat and row as quickly as you can to
the spot where you dumped Steve’s body. The only sound in the deep night is the
gentle splash of your oars, breaking the surface of the water. You wonder whether
this is simply another of your nightmares, but luckily Steve’s landed on a sandbar
just a couple feet underwater, and you pry him up with one of your oars, and pull him,
limp and gasping, into the rowboat. "I’m so sorry," you say. "Forget it," he says, between
gasps. But he looks at you sideways with an expression of fear, vulnerability, spite, and
rage that threatens to evolve into a taunting smile. His arms are still tied behind him by
the golden chains, but you can see that his carpenter’s jumpsuit is puffed out down
below by his hard-on. You suspected this about him—that he loves being tortured.
After pulling your oars in, you slowly remove your clothing and stand in front of him,
naked in the moonlight. He can’t grab you, can’t even move. He’s powerless. You
kneel over him, and pull the top of his jumpsuit up over his round, muscular, hairless
shoulders, which you bite and kiss, tasting the salt of the water. "I’m sorry, I’m sorry,"
you say, loving the fact that he’s tied up and powerless, but it’s you who’s surrendering.


[Exercises from Healing Visualizations: Creating Health Through Imagery, by Gerald
Epstein]