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How A Broken Heart Can Turn You Into A Stronger Person

For me, it was the rejection, the fear, the paralyzing and terrifying feeling that maybe this would be it, that I may never have this feeling again. This was my one and only chance, so I had to push for it, no matter how trapped it made me feel on the inside.

I remember the first time I felt it bubbling up inside of me, like a pot about to lose its lid. It was way too early into the relationship, I told myself, and the whole experience was way too euphoric for me to believe that I was feeling something real.

Then, a couple of months later, in the solitude of two bodies curled up together in a quiet bedroom, dimly lit by a bedside lamp, I said it for the first time in my life:

I just… I love you. And I want you to know that no matter what, I will always appreciate you as an important person in my life.

Boy, was I naive. What I should have said was, “Whatever happens, one day, I will understand how to appreciate the person you were in my life.”

Heartbreak is a malicious bitch. There is no pain quite like it in the world. It is universal and it knows no race, class, ethnicity or age. Heartbreak has no boundaries.

It is that gaping hole that feels like a meteor has crashed into your soul and left nothing but a big, black void that sucks up your entire universe.

The physicality of it was what I found most, well, interesting about the experience, and from time to time, I would let myself sit in it. I felt like I could hear my heart sobbing in a corner — could others hear it, too?

Every second of every single day, it just ate away at me. Feeling empty never weighed so much, felt so heavy or took up so much space.

Heartbreak can turn anyone bitter  — even if it was obvious that it was coming.

It was during my first relationship that I learned that falling in love could be both a blessing and a curse. The vulnerability of it all, the volcanic of explosion of emotions that can erupt on a weekly basis, the every last ounce of yourself that you pour into it. Love is a risk — it is standing on the edge of a cliff and being brave enough to take the fall.

Relationships do not come with instructions or manuals but instead, come with lessons on life and trust. It seems that falling in love with someone who is wrong for you is one of the most painfully rewarding ways to learn how to trust yourself and your gut.

For a long, long time, I was blinded by that feeling of my heart smiling inside and out, that feeling in which your whole world lights up when someone walks into the room.

And then, slowly, as stark realities seep into the dissipating world into which you have been wrapped, you start to see things and people for how and who they really are.

The questions start to filter in and facing them feels like struggling to answer questions asked in a foreign language. "But, I just do not understand. What the hell does this even mean? This doesn't make sense right now. I will deal with this another time."

But, the truth is that we always have answers to the questions we ask ourselves in life — They’re just not always the answers we want to hear.

Our guts can be both our best and our worst friends. They can destroy a happiness we once loved dearly, but they can also grant you the freedom to a happiness you never knew existed.

I was not strong enough to trust my gut when it told me that something about my relationship was off, that something was just not quite right. For someone who never really lets fear stand in her way, I was letting it boss me around. In time, I learned that I was not necessarily afraid to lose my ex — I was more so afraid to lose the feeling of being in love.

I started to push myself to want to be in my relationship. There were things about it that still made me feel excited and still brought me comfort and smiles, because truthfully, I was still absolutely in love.

I mean, I had moved across the world to be with and create a life with this person. That counts for something, right? There was too much noise in my head, too many justifications trying to save us from persecution.

But, through our years together, the conflicting feelings of not being able to stay forever and never being able to leave and live a life without him left me stuck. There was a larger piece of the whole missing that I found via the simple question, “I may love this person, but is it right?”

And then, one night my ex came home from work, sat down on the same bed where I first said I love you and broke up with me. A deafening silence took over and then suddenly, there was a fleeting moment of relief, as if some burden had just been lifted. It was about time.

Yet, when the pain of rejection kicked in and the fear of being alone and never again finding love reared its ugly, self-deprecating head, I found myself drowning in efforts to paddle back to my relationship, even though I knew it was a sinking ship. I was so afraid to swim to shore and let go — I was willing to go down with the ship.

It took time for me wade through of the thickness of it all, the sludge of emotions that slow you down like mud, the "But why doesn't s/he want me?" question that keeps broken hearts up at night. For a while, it made no sense to me, emotionally. I was so in love — we were so in love. How could this happen?

But deep down, I knew; I was just reluctant to accept it. Acceptance would mean moving on, giving up hope, looking beyond the “what ifs?” and the “maybes” that make you think can resurrect something that’s long gone.

Ultimately, it is completely possible to be absolutely in love with someone who is wrong for you. What you had together may have been beautiful while it lasted, but it is a beauty that inevitably wilts like a flower and lose its shine.

This is when your head must rule your heart. You have to trust yourself and sometimes, that can be more frightening than trusting total strangers. But, you have to do it and you have to ask yourself that questions that you might not want to answer — the ones that may scare you and lead you down a new and unknown path, alone.

But, the process of going through all of it will help you realize the strength you have inside of you. You are capable of making your life as great as possible. You can be the healthiest and the happiest version of yourself once you learn how to trust who you are and what you feel.

Photo via We Heart It