The most extraordinary pain most of us will experience comes from the moment our heart shatters into a million little fragments. We go from feeling safe and happy to vulnerable and wounded without a second to comprehend the change of state. We were counting on someone, and they let us down. We are suddenly injured and alone, and we don’t know how to pick up all the pieces of our discarded soul. We try to put them back in their place but they don’t seem to fit, because everything we did, said, and believed is now hazy and contentious. We thought we knew who we were and what we were doing, but now everything is up in the air. Our entire universe seems to have changed, and therefore we have changed, which is why it takes us so long to heal the wounds.
The thing about broken hearts is that sadness is only the tip of that cold, tough iceberg. We feel desolate for days, and at some point, our tears turn into fits of rage. We are so, so angry: at our exes, at ourselves, at the feeling of love and all it dictates. We are angry at him or her for walking away, we are angry at ourselves for not seeing things that now seem obvious, we are angry that love, and loving just one person, can control all our emotions. We feel trapped in our mind. We feel bitter. We feel the farthest thing from confident.
Eventually, we claim that we are feeling better. Even though we know deep down that it’s a lie, it’s a first step to real recovery. We try to move on with the help of friends and other support systems. We try to stop analyzing what went wrong. We convince ourselves that it wasn’t meant to be, that better things are coming, that we will soon get through this. We attempt to distract ourselves from our overflowing emotions that never seem to go away, by burying ourselves in work, social events, and booze.
Our broken spirits are daunting; it seems as if they will never mend. But finally, an amazing thing happens.
By a magical combination of positive thinking, healthy reflection, and time, we begin to really heal. All of a sudden, we can see even the faintest silver lining in the dark, hovering clouds. We stop lying to ourselves and we begin to believe that we will be okay, because we can feel ourselves getting better. We are no longer depressed all the time. We are sad at moments but generally we feel alright. We smile real smiles and laugh honest laughs. When we discuss our ex, we are now truthful; we don’t blame everything on them or make them out to be the only ones who made mistakes. We are stable enough to admit our wrongs and regrets. There may still be flickering questions about our past relationship and what happened, but we let them simmer. We have faith that soon, they will be gone forever.
Getting your heart broken is messy and tragic, yet it’s an absolutely incredible experience. It’s one of those rare times when you are forced to reflect deep upon yourself and to rebuild from the inside out, which is a beautiful consequence. As you reassemble your shattered heart, you come face to face with your weaknesses, and that’s scary. But once you are able to recognize and be honest with those insecurities, you get closer to true peace of mind, inner happiness, and a sturdy backbone.
Surviving a broken heart is one of the sole experiences that make us stronger. After feeling destroyed, we find courage we didn’t know we had. We realize that no matter how sad we are to lose that person, we are happy that we got a chance to run recklessly with them than never at all. We learn to cope with never knowing the answers to intensely agonizing questions such as, ‘Why not me?’
We always learn something about who we are after every heartbreaking relationship. We change things in ourselves that we want to change, and we embrace the parts of our character that we like. When we heal, we realize how much we love who we are, and therefore, we have confidence that we will find someone else who sees what we see. We come to terms with the fact that maybe we don’t really know what we want yet, or maybe we were never meant to have it with that person. Either way, with every traumatic break-up comes a better you, and that is something you can count on.