How to become whole again

(a story about soul amputation)

“Every time we lose a part of ourselves,
we get to know ourselves a bit better”

Beautiful stupid humans.
We want happiness so badly, but we are daily busy blocking our bliss.
We are true masters in it.

Take soul amputation. A great bliss blocker.

Because it stands between us and our happiness, I think it’s crucial to know the exact workings of soul amputation. So it’s my honor today to teach you one of the most effective ways to amputate your soul:

Let me recap the steps:

  1. Fall in love with something or someone
  2. Feel awesome like hell
  3. Make part of that awesome feeling sticky
  4. Stick that part on the thing/ person you love
  5. Wait till the thing/person disappears from your life
  6. Feel how your energy slowly gets drained

“To be truly happy, you only need to know
what is standing between you and your happiness”

How soul amputation works

With soul amputation you attach your soul to something outside of yourself.

Somehow, you convince yourself that part of your joy and bliss is dependent on your lover, dream job or cat.

This is complete nonsense of course.
Your bliss is only dependent on you.

It’s all an illusion (as usual)

But you know how we humans are. We can convince ourselves of anything, and with these convictions we create the worlds we live in.

That’s how we create the illusion that soul amputation is possible.


The Personal Painful Example

Falling in love

I definitely know how to amputate a soul. I found out the hard way what happens when you project your dreams and happiness onto another being.

This is what happened.

I go skiing in France.

Upon arriving, the owner of the chalet says hello and looks at me. For the first time in my life, I feel like I am being fully seen, like being put in the most loving X-ray machine ever.

I fall in love with him. And after having had four serious relationships I know it:


Every little detail is the proof of him being IT.

My birth poem is hanging on his wall. He is all the combinations I thought never would go together: super intelligent, witty, a designer, emotionally evolved, successful international business consultant, writer of spiritual books…

Together, we walk through the charming French village and he points to a small school: “Perfect for our kids”, he says.

The five days we spend together are magical.

Old emotional wounds get healed in each other’s presence, we laugh our asses of at the ski slopes, and we travel to other universes in each other’s arms.

And then it all crumbles apart

But then I have to leave. I go to the United States for 3 months.

At one point I am Skyping with my lover.
I still remember the moment very vividly.
I am sitting in a Hawaiian cafe, surfing on the high waves of inspiration that roll through my being.

And he breaks up.

The whys and hows don’t really matter here.
I am dazed.
And flabbergasted.

I empty the vodka on the rocks I am drinking, and walk in a hardware store. It is evening, and the store is deserted. The rows and rows of tools and the neon light are strangely comforting.

I buy a hat.


The sorrow doesn’t have much grip on me, initially. There are way too many great things happening during my travels. It seems like there is no other option then just have an amazing time.

In a way, I kind of ‘forget’ about the whole breaking up thing.

Walking through a fog

Fast forward, three months later.
I’m sitting in the sun on an Amsterdam terrace.

I feel empty.
I’m jealous on all the overly hip people in Amsterdam.
I don’t know what’s happening.

This is not me, right?

For months, I’m walking through a fog. I’m watching ‘Say yes to the dress’ and ‘Toddlers & tiaras’. I’m barely managing to get myself dressed for the day.


What actually happened: the soul amputation

I amputated my soul without being aware of it.

Upon meeting my lover, I felt like walking in the garden of Eden. Unconsciously, my mind attributed part of my blissful state to my lover.

Our poor Western minds.
Way too much trained in the paradigm of cause and effect.

When I FIRST meet this beautiful being, and THEN feel hyper joyful and inspired, there must be a causal effect… right?

N O P E .

Ok, fair enough.
He did remind me of my inner garden of Eden. But I caused it to be there, because I’m the only causer there is.

When he broke up, deep down and hidden I had the believe that part of my bliss was gone. Consequently, I said goodbye to part of my soul.

And yes, the story has a happy ending

Six months later, we had a Skype session again.
All the time in between, we didn’t speak with each other.

It was a very good conversation.
Again, I could feel my love for him.
After we hung up, I cried for 30 minutes straight.

It literally felt like part of my soul was given back.

I felt immensely grateful.
My tears felt like the best car wash ever.

Of course, he didn’t give back anything to me. When speaking to him, all of a sudden I realised what I had been doing to myself.  How I had been giving away part of myself.

And at that very moment, I got the full download for this post :).

PS the breaking up was in no way the single trigger that made me spiralling into a depression. But it definitely had it’s contribution. 

How to detect an amputated soul

The soul to me is a beautiful light bomb.
It’s unobstructed bliss pouring into everything.

When people are fully in contact with their soul, you can see that vibe emanating from every cell of their being. They’re just happy all over.


That’s why we have the ‘god-given’ gift of obstruction, problems, and all kinds of other shitty things. It makes us painfully and acutely aware of the places where we obstruct our joy and happiness. How would we otherwise know we are ‘off’?

Soul amputation is such a happiness obstruction.

But why wait till you are obstructed?

I decided to not only ring the tingling alarm bell when I’m getting down, but also when I feel immensely joyful. When happiness enters my system full force, I apply the stickiness test.

1. First, I investigate if I attribute (part of) my happiness to an external cause. This can be anything: my dog, lover, house, business, body, kids… If no, great! If yes, I go to step 2.

2. Then, I do the fear scan. Somewhere in my being, can I find a fear of the person, animal of job not being in my life? How would it feel if these ‘happiness triggers’ were not in my life? How big is that fear? The more fear, the more stickiness.

3. Finally, I ask myself the question: what part of myself does the happiness trigger remind me of?

Just the awareness alone is enough to loosen up the stickiness, and re-own most of your bliss again.

And yes yes, of course it can happen that you miss out on the fact that you project your happiness on something outside of you. No problemo. Just wait till you feel that your energy gets drained, and let your second stand-by alarm bell ring.

If you feel like flushing yourself through the toilet, go back in time to hunt up the last blissful experience you had. Then, do the stickiness test in retro perspective. Find out if you left part of your soul somewhere else. So please:





PS I am sincerely interested in your experience.

Do you recognize the notion of soul amputation?
Do you have a personal example of soul amputation? Where/what did you project your happiness on? Any other comments, questions?

You can use the comment field down here.

  • Aernout

    Hi Ayla,
    Having read this post for the first time just now, I have to say that it will take me some time to grow accustomed to the term you’ve coined: soul amputation. I do recognize its connotation, though.

    My experiences with soul amputation are somewhat similar to yours. I actually consider your approach as a coping strategy rather than an absolute truth. I mean to say that it will serve any person well to seek their inner glow as the primary source for shining, but we can’t deny that outside factors will often prompt new sparks within us. And, as a result, we will have to accept that our happiness will be temporarily blinded when the sparks disappear. I will illustrate with a brief account of my most vivid amputation story.

    Last year, she opened the door and I knew then and there that I had come home for the first time in my life. She knew, too, though she didn’t dare believe it at first.

    I recall having visited her twice and sitting at home three days later. My hands started shaking uncontrollably. I had become addicted and was displaying physical withdrawal symptoms.

    Our time together turned out to be the right thing at the wrong time, mostly because she had lost herself in living the life other people told her to have. No inner peace and overwhelming feelings of guilt were the result.

    Within a few months, I had become two things to her: the one that made her believe she was entitled to being her true self and the one standing in the way of her actually doing that. So we let go of each other.

    And then there is what she had become to me. Actually, I don’t have proper words for it. What I do know is that I was still me. I had reminded myself frequently of the other part of my life; the part that was already there before I met her. However, its colors were simply drowned out. And after it was over, it took time for the colors to return.

    It was as though I had been looking at the sun and then walked into a dark room. As long as your eyes haven’t adjusted, you don’t see anything, but just the same you are moving your head around in hopes of catching a glimpse.

    I felt vulnerable, surreal, aimless. Even though I knew I had plenty to live for, I just couldn’t grasp the feeling that should accompany that notion. I just wanted to run back to the sun. Put differently, adapting to the change takes time and unavoidably renders your inner glow insufficient for some time.

    So yes, there was stickiness and there was me reminding myself of my own source of happiness, but in the end, I didn’t have full control. Like the biochemistry couldn’t be controlled, so could the stickiness not be avoided.

    On the other hand, I have a second interpretation of your blogpost. When looking at her, there was stickiness on another level. Like many women, she had quite a number of things to balance in her life: care for her children, a career, a household all by herself, family and friends. You know… the usual things.

    The thing is, while doing all this, she was not living her life on her own terms. There were expectations she tried to meet, coming from all sides. And they were sticky. So sticky that she never got around to being alone and talking to herself once in a while.

    In addition, she didn’t do a number of things that were truly important to her. Some of her interests were outside of the societal norm. By default, she denied herself to do anything with them. The expectations steered her away from them. And then there were the men. Each of her relationships gave her enriching experiences and new insights, but they also produced more expectations. These were in her mind as much as they were actual demands from others. That’s the tricky part of the story. In the end, she had lost herself because she let other people’s words define her. And on that level, I do agree with you.

    So my takeaway from your post is:
    define yourself, don’t stick to expectations and accept that, unavoidably, your happiness will sometimes be temporarily drowned out by the withdrawal of something or someone that touched you.

    • averheijen

      Thank you so much for this interesting reflection and for sharing your own story.

      I can really find myself in the metaphors you use, like looking into the sun and then be blinded, and colors that are drenched from the world. I think when it comes to matters of love, the only option we have is to talk in metaphors.

      I think my ‘method’ is the opposite of coping, because it looks to the core of the matter. In my experience, the only thing we can truly change in our lives, is our perception. We often think that it’s logical that outside events determine our feelings and thoughts, but in my view this is merely how you’ve been societally trained to make associations between events and feelings.

      I’m definitely not saying that we should avoid or look away from any pain that comes up. But I do think there are many gradations of pain and ways too deal with it. I can feel great pain and disappointment, without being ‘ruled’ by it. I allow the pain to be there, but I don’t build a story around it. Pain in itself is never a problem I think, only when we start to look at the world through “pain-colored” glasses. When we don’t just let the pain be the pain, but project it onto the world again (‘everything sucks’).

      I like everybody taking their own thins out of this story, and I completely agree with you that sticking to expectations doesn’t lead to much happiness.

      Love & lovers might just be our biggest teachers!

  • Ok, you asked for it! …I used you, Anja, to amuputate my soul. In the beginning all purly online – you looked, sounded and felt (projection) like I imagined my dreamwoman (blabla – I know). I added you as a friend on fb and you accepted on this platform. Your bodyshape, your smile on the photos, the open sharing of processes which you undergo – Shiny!(… too shiny for me) …all this I used to feel like you were out of my league/reach. So I sucessfully blocked parts of my bliss through feeling inferior to this sexy, slim beauty from Holland with that amazing big mouth and shiny eyes. This went on whenever you posted something. It was never a big thing – but amputation is amputation. Since I really seem to be fond of you – it was kind of shitty choice to choose as state of mind. Thankfully all of this flipped around some weeks ago. Perfect timing – the inferior feeling was long gone when you came back online recently. Now I think hey … “Anja, she is so cool. And Fun. Haha”. As in the beginning when I saw you shine on-line. 🙂 Daniel

    • averheijen

      Thank you for your honesty Daniel, that’s great!