There Is No Love Without Heartbreak.
Once it happened, that I went through a breakup. One that shattered my world and made me question everything about my meaning in life. Up until that point, I perceived that my meaning in life was simply to be someone's "other half", which would imply that as a human being I was only half of a whole.
All of my dreams at that point in my life were ones I had inherited from society, to marry, to become a Mum, to get a career to care for my family. My dreams could not stand on their own, they were propped up by someone else to share them with. My goals, ambitions and identity were not dependent on who I was, but on who I was in relation to others. A good wife, a good mother, a good employee, a good manager.
It was incredibly painful to be told, "I don't love you anymore..." by the person that I loved more than life itself. When you become absorbed in society's idea of love, it can be quite toxic when it all begins to unravel. The language we use when in love is a very telling reflection of how we perceive our own identity and worth.
"You give my life meaning" means without you my life is meaningless. The same as "I'd be nothing without you" or referring to the person you love as "my other half". We have this idea that Disney told us that we are waiting for someone to save us, rescue us from being alone. Validate us to "live happily ever after.."
The person I was with I saw as my Hercules, the one who saved me from the big scary world, and even from myself. So when he left me, in a gut-wrenchingly painful way, I experienced a complete collapse of my identity. I had no idea who I was without him. I had no future to look forward to as all of it was pinned to him, his dreams, his future.
It was more than heartbreaking, it was soul-breaking. From the pieces left behind, I started to put back together a person I thought I might be, but whatever way I tried to piece myself back together I still felt like there was a huge piece missing, a gaping hole in my identity.
I thought it needed to be filled with love, someone's love would complete me. So I had other relationships, but still, nothing really stopped me from feeling incomplete. I travelled the world hoping new experiences would thrill me back to life, but I just took my lonely, incompleteness on tour. To all the corners of the world.
I came home more depleted than ever, I had tried everything and I felt further from happiness than ever before. I decided I needed to heal myself before I would be ready to find my 'missing piece'. I started practising mindfulness, being kind to myself, I stopped sabotaging myself with intoxicants and finally sat with myself. Listening to the pain instead of masking it or trying to run away from it.
In that quiet acceptance, I finally found the missing piece that completed me. In the end, it was not another person's love that healed me but my own. In learning to love myself I felt that finally, I was enough. I was a full person, not a half of someone else.
I began to build big dreams, dreams where I lived undefined by anyone else's future, where I build businesses that made my heart sing and travelled the world and lived every moment to the fullest. I felt more myself and more alive than I had ever felt, and it never would have happened if I had never had gone through the heartache and pain I experienced.
I wouldn't change who I am now for the world, and I certainly wouldn't trade back to my old life before any of the heartache. I am so grateful for the experience of loving someone and losing them. Because in doing so I learned the most profound love of my life, came from within. My future is so much brighter now I know who I am, and truly love myself.
So if you are going through a painful time, please try to remember that it may well be the way you learn to level up. It may well teach you things about yourself you will be incredibly happy to discover. You may be just a moment away from discovering how incredible you really are...
I'd love to hear from you, please leave me a comment if you have ever found out something about yourself after a breakup or difficult stage or your life.
Day 12/365 days of personal development