Things I learned from heartbreak, pt. 2

Check out my last post for the first 8!

9. You will never know your own strength until it is all you can depend on.
After my ex and I broke up, I was told I wouldn’t graduate on time and wouldn’t complete my thesis, and would have to work over the summer to get my master’s degree. It is because of my own self-determination and by the grace of God that I graduated on time, and completed my thesis. That was ALL me. Celebrate those victories, and make sure the people around you are celebrating them with you! If they aren’t, then they shouldn’t be there.

10. Sometimes you need to let go of things and people for the very reason that they are heavy.
And sometimes you realize that the weight you release from your wings is the very thing that was preventing you from flying. Going through the break-up actually resulted in me traveling more this past year, eating better, being more social, having a larger social circle, and gaining more confidence in myself and in my appearance.

11. Friends and having a social circle are so incredibly important. Whatever you do, when a great friend walks into your life, do NOT let them go, and show them as much as you can what they mean to you, as often as you can. Nourish your relationships. My friends, both offline AND online, are truly what got me through this. They were there to celebrate when I had triumphs, and to encourage me, pray for me, and be with me when I struggled. I will never forget that. I highly recommend for those of you who are still in relationships to reach out to a friend who you maybe haven’t in a while. I know I neglected a ton of friendships when I was in mine, and it is a mistake I never want to make again.

12. Your heartbreak, loss, whatever struggle you experience will almost always be used later on for someone else’s healing.
You are not in it alone, for the very reason that you are meant to show others the same thing later on. A few months after the break-up, I met a girl at church who went through a break-up literally the night before I met her. Being able to sit with her, encourage her, and listen to her in the face of her vulnerability was such a rewarding experience, and a true gift from God (for both of us).

13. Often times the role that we play in someone else’s story matters just as much as the one you played in theirs.
This is something I learned only recently (from an experience I had with someone else), but it is by far one of the most important things I learned. I find comfort in the fact that the love I showed my ex didn’t go to waste. It inspired him and challenged him for a long time, pushed him to do things he didn’t think he could, offered him support during hard times… and since we broke up, it sounds like (from the interactions we have had) he has also experienced so much growth that he might not have if he had stayed with me.

14. Even when it feels like your heart will never feel what it felt before for another person, it will.
It amazes me how even in its most broken state, the heart is still determined to beat. Despite the heartbreak I experienced, I also experienced what it was like to date again and to find people who made my heart beat fast again. Give it time, but it will happen. Don’t make this your first priority however. Often the best relationships, dates, and interactions with people happen when you least expect it.

15. I want to reiterate that you WILL be okay again.
It doesn’t happen overnight. It may not be tomorrow, or next month. It may take 6 months, or a full year (that’s what it took me)… but you will get there, and you will be stronger and happier for it.

16. Forgiveness, including forgiveness of the self, is ultimately what will set you free.
The minute I started praying for my ex when I thought of him, wishing him light and happiness, and also expressing gratitude for him and the time he spent with me… I began to experience true healing. It isn’t easy; in fact, it probably won’t even feel like the right thing to do for a long time. For a long time, my prayer was something as simple as, “Dear God, I hope he’s doing well. Amen.” Some days it was harder than others. Some days I felt the familiar tug of grief on my heartstrings, and when I did, I forgave myself for the fact that I couldn’t pray for him that day. But sometimes the following day, I found the strength to try again.

There are so many more things I learned about myself, about love, and about life, but I will leave it at that.

Whatever season you’re in, whatever you may be facing, whether it is a break-up or something else, I hope you know that you aren’t alone in it. Along those those same lines, whatever helps you get through your difficult time, I pray that you remember that there is always someone who cares.

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