When we experience a break up or a broken heart, whether for the first time or the third, or tenth, it can feel as though it threatens your very existence. We wonder how we are ever going to live without this person and we mourn for what is lost. It hurts. It really freakin' hurts. But in time, you'll be able to see that it makes way for other things — new experiences and different focuses. It can ultimately help you discover the happiest version of yourself.
Here's how it helped me, and how it can help you, too.
1.) Recognizing Your Own Strength
I used to consider myself mentally and emotionally strong, but really I was closed off and had ridiculously large walls up. I refused to allow myself to experience emotions. I pushed down anything that made me feel weak where I tried to keep it locked away. Despite this, I allowed myself to get hurt. When my heart was broken, I let in all the things that I was afraid to feel — sadness, rejection, heartache — and it wasn't easy. But doing so allowed me to feel strong again. I let myself experience pain so I could let it go and move on. Letting it in, surviving it and coming out the other side again makes you feel like a warrior. I refused to let heartache define me in a negative way. I want to be better because of it, and I am.
You will be a better, stronger person, too.
2.) Developing Your Other Relationships
I've never been one to ask for help, but when I was going through the worst of it, I was overwhelmed by the love and support of good friends and family. Needing help has brought me closer to them. I've strengthened my relationships with my parents and sisters. I've learned to rely on the love and advice from my closest friends. I was able to spend more time with friends that I lost touch with. I met new people.
You will be able to focus on the other relationships in your life and you will realize all that you are gaining.
3.) Finding Yourself
I spent so much of my life trying to do what was best for others, even when they didn't ask me to. Sometimes we lose ourselves in relationships. We forget what it feels like to be on our own. We sometimes lose a sense of who we are without the other person. In losing that, we are forced to remind ourselves who we are and who we want to be. It forces us to think about where we are in life and what we want from it. Most importantly, it forces us to be really honest with ourselves and work on the things that make us unhappy. Maybe you want to try new things. Maybe you want to focus on getting healthy. Maybe this is a time for you to rediscover yourself and all you have to offer the world and other people. It's a great time to figure out what you want from love and relationships in your life.
You will discover who you are on your own and realize the opportunity for growth.
4.) Knowing There Is A Purpose
This is honestly what I was the most thankful for because it allowed me to get to all of the other places I needed to be. When you first have your heart broken, it's easy to get caught up in everything you are losing — all that you are forced to live without. It's hard to see what what the situation is giving you. What I gained from all of the times my heart was broken in the past was perspective. Removing myself from a situation helps you to see everything with honest eyes. And most times, I was able to see it as a gift — an opportunity for change and growth. It's an opportunity to learn from mistakes and shortcomings. It's an opportunity to be and do better. And all of these things give the pain and experience a purpose —an understanding of why you need to experience it to get to where you need to be.
You will start to see all of the lessons you can take away from this, and it will make the heartache you are experiencing worthwhile.
5.) Surrendering Control
One of the hardest parts of a broken heart is accepting that something you believed in is no longer a reality. This person who you knew so well quickly becomes someone you used to know and there is nothing you can do about it. Letting go and admitting that some things are out of your control is always easier said than done. For a control freak like me, it feels impossible. I don't want to admit that anything is out of my control, but some things are. Sometimes people fall out of love. Sometimes people cheat and lie and break your heart. Sometimes people change and surprise you with who they've become. You can't do anything to stop it. You can't go back and change things that have already happened. The sooner you are able to accept what is, the sooner you can begin to move on. You may feel like you'll never be ready to move on because you don't want to, but believe me, it happens. Even if it feels impossible right now, you will move on and get through this. Sometimes, things are removed from our lives because we don't have the strength to remove them on our own.
You will be able to accept what is in time, and from that, be able to let go.
I have had my heart broken many times, but I am thankful for every one because each has given me something. It will give you something, too. And know that even in your darkest moments, you will learn from it. Even if it doesn't feel like it at the moment, this is making you stronger. There is a purpose to all of this, even the moments that hurt the most.
And as time passes, letting go becomes easier. I promise that it does.