I’ve never been divorced. I’ve never even been married. But I have been heartbroken to the extent that I felt a physical void in my chest coupled with endless tears. I know why they call it heartbreak. I felt a pain in my chest so severe and so crippling I was gasping for air. It is a pain so intense and so debilitating; I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. It is this same pain—this depressingly lonely pain—that inspires me everyday.
There are two things that I learned to carry with me through all of the heartache and rejection:
Everything happens for a reason.
1: I deserve someone who knows my worth.
I struggled with self-confidence for years of my life. I had constantly to convince myself that I had value, that I was smart and pretty and funny and worth something on this earth. I was doing better for a while, and then I met Phil. We had fun together and for a while things were great. But then I started to realize that I was constantly making excuses for him. “He’s emotionally unstable, I know he cares about me, he doesn’t have to tell me,” and “He didn’t mean to say that, it’s just his humor.” I forced myself to glorify the rare nice things he did, because at least he was doing something and I was lucky he cared!
When it didn’t work out I blamed myself. I thought that I had done something wrong, that it was okay if he didn’t want more, I could adjust my expectations. I finally realized that it wasn’t my fault. I shouldn’t have to justify his actions for the sake of feeling worth. He should know how amazing I am and appreciate me for it. He should be glorifying me. I will no longer settle, because I am better than that.
2: Everything happens for a reason.
While I am not very religious, I do believe in fate and the overwhelming idea that everything that happens, happens for a reason. This is hard to remember sometimes. Why would we be put through so much misery? What’s the point of suffering? We are told that the point of falling is to get back up. But the more important thing is to learn from every experience we have and take value from each situation we face.
When we are crumpled up on the floor, being kicked in the face by life and made to feel worthless by men who don’t love us back, that is the time to hold on to the idea that we are strong, and we will prosper. If we can hold on to that fact, then we have the ability to learn from the experience. Maybe next time we won’t be fooled by a pretty face, or realize that we don’t need to settle for less than we deserve.
If we remember to listen to these moments of incredible pain, then we can change the course of our future and stop falling into patterns of despair. The reason things happen is so we can learn. Eventually we will learn to be bigger people and to stand up for what we believe in, and then we will take pride in the satisfaction of knowing we made it.
First we have to accept the cards we are dealt, and remember that though everything happens for a reason, it is up to us to take advantage of these situations and grow through them. If it’s meant to be, it will be. If it’s not, move on and be stronger for it.