Heartbreak taught me 4 important lessons

A lot of people seem to have stopped believing in love. I don’t know how many conversations I’ve had with friends and family members about love. In almost all those conversations, a lot of people tend to agree that “there is no real love anymore”.

People have had their hearts broken and have been betrayed so many times. There have been a number of times when I’ve had to comfort a friend or a sibling who was going through a heartbreak. It’s a pain that words can’t quite explain. The feeling is so bad that you literally feel like you’re losing your mind.

I remember the first my heart was ever broken by someone. We were in a relationship, well at least I thought we were, and I really loved him. Things were good, according to me, at least. But one day he woke up and decided that he no longer wanted to be in my life. This came as a shock to me, of course, because I thought we had something good. It turns out, his heart was “no longer in it” (his words).

Confused and devastated, I kept wanting to make things right. I mean, just the other day this person was in love with me and now he wants a break? My mind couldn’t make sense of it all. Despite wanting to make things right and literally begging him to meet with me in order to fix things, he wasn’t having it. He stopped taking my calls and responding to my text messages.

As painful as it was, I had to accept that things were over. Life had to move on. I won’t lie, this was a very difficult time for me because I really didn’t understand how someone can just decide to leave with no explanation. The point of this piece is really not to talk much about the breakup or to bash the person I was with at the time. I can never take away from the fact that he was a good man and served whatever purpose he had in my life.

I just want to share some of the most invaluable lessons I learned because of that heartbreaking situation. When you’re going through heartbreak it tends to feel like you will never be happy again and that your life is somehow incomplete without that person. And that, my friends, is not true.

You need to face your demons

If anyone had told me that the breakup was a blessing all those years ago, I would have never believed them. How can this pain end up being the best thing to happen to me? But, as I’ve realised over the years, that heartbreak came at the right time. It obviously didn’t feel that way when I was crying myself to sleep or trying to find answers in the middle of the night. But my 30-year-old self now understands that it had to happen.

I feel like my life revolved around my ex-boyfriend. You see, I was going through a lot around that time and I saw him as my “happy place”. Being with him was like being in a happy bubble and I forgot about all the things I was dealing with. I looked forward to seeing him every weekend because it meant escaping my not-so-pleasant reality.

Maybe things eventually got too much for him, and I completely understand. I had to face my demons at some point, even though I wasn’t ready to do so. Not being with him forced me to deal with some of the most painful and traumatic experiences. There was no “happy place”, there was no distraction — it was just me and my truth. I honestly believe that if the relationship had carried on for longer than it did, I would have never had the opportunity to thoroughly deal with my pain. It truly was a blessing in disguise.

Your healing is your responsibility

I’ve heard people praising their partners for “healing” them. This might sound cute to other people, but to me it doesn’t make sense (not that I’m judging). I’ve found that your healing is your responsibility. You cannot place such a huge task on another person because at some point they will also not be able to handle it.

Sure it’s great to have a supportive partner around you, but when it comes to dealing with trauma — whether from your childhood or other life experiences — your whole being is required. It’s good to have people who hold your hand and comfort you through the process, but you have to do the work. The work is not pretty at all. It rarely has moments that you can share with the world on Instagram. However, it’s a very necessary process. It is your responsibility to make sure you face your pain instead of running away from it.

Love is beautiful

I will never stop believing in love. Once I experienced God’s love I really started understanding what romantic love is supposed to look and feel like. I’m not saying that I have all the answers when it comes to love, but I truly believe that there’s love that will someday take my breath away.

If this sounds naive to you then maybe our idea of love is not the same. As I mentioned in one of my previous post, what we sometimes think is love, is actually fear. You cannot love someone while still holding back (fear). You cannot love someone and then go and hurt them (fear). You cannot love someone and refuse to be vulnerable with them (fear). You cannot love someone and not want to show them your true self (fear).

Again, I’m not here to claim that relationships don’t have their problems. I am aware of the fact that there’s a lot of work involved in making any kind of relationship work. And no one is perfect. However, love is still very beautiful and I cannot wait to experience it with the right person.

Being alone is important

I’ve been single for a number of years (don’t ask how many) and this has really given me a chance to fully experience love the way God intended it. I’ve had my fair share of ups and downs, especially when it comes to my relationship with God so I’m not about to claim that I’ve got it all figured out.

I’m also not going to lie and say being single for this long has been great the whole time, however, it has really taught me about the kind of love I want from a partner. Not only that, but it has also given me the opportunity to get to know who I really am.

In my opinion, it’s very important to spend time with yourself and figure out what you’re really about. I’m now in space where I know myself much better than I did a few years ago, and I’m more in love with myself than ever. When I get into my next relationship I’m confident that I’ll be going in as a whole person. I also won’t be looking for happiness in another partner because I understand that happiness is an inside job.

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash