1. Everything hurts right now because you felt something real. Because this relationship or this fling or this experience was more than physical for you. You were acting on your basic human instinct to love another person, and that’s not something you should make yourself feel guilty about. We’re wired to love and to open our hearts up. We’re also wired to experience pain, so stop pressuring yourself. Heartache is not something you have to rush yourself to get over.
2. It might be easier to go through life being closed off to love. It might be safer and it might be painless. It might be less complicated. But it will certainly be more boring. More colorless. More lifeless. And a whole lot more empty.
3. Settling is a lot safer and much less painful than ending a relationship. But it also means giving up someone who might be a whole lot better for you in the long run, someone you haven’t even met yet.
4. The deeper that the love is, the deeper the pain will be. So if you’re miserable and empty and hanging on by a thread, it’s because you’ve experienced a love that most people won’t ever experience in their lifetime. Be thankful for it, remember how it made you feel, and acknowledge that you are capable of falling deeply in love again.
5. The numbness will set in, to help you, to protect you. It’s your body going into self-preservation mode. But do not let this numbness overtake you. Do not let it shield you from risk and vulnerability. Because without risk and vulnerability, you cannot fall in love.
6. The agony you will go through will make you more alive and more real to yourself than you’ve ever been before.
7. People who don’t experience heartache will never know happiness as you know it. They will be happy, but they will never have loss to compare it to. They will have no idea about the power of the happiness that they hold in their hand.
8. Getting your heartbroken is scary. Getting dumped is scary. Getting rejected is scary. But nothing is scarier than the knowledge that you could have had great love and you chose the absence of pain instead.
9. You will have moments where you sob on the floor in your bedroom. Moments wear you tear up slightly but blink it away because you’re in public. Moments where your outward appearance looks calm and collected but your insides are crumbling. Every day you will feel differently and react differently than the day before. Don’t try to plan it out. Don’t try to understand it. Just let yourself be, let yourself feel, and let yourself heal.
10. When you’re forcing love to stay alive with someone, it isn’t love anymore. It has become the fear of being hurt and alone. Clinging to love will be a lot more painful in the long run, and sometimes, you just have to know when to let go.
11. You don’t have to have been in a relationship to be heartbroken. Your love isn’t invalid if it was not reciprocated. Your pain is just as real, just as strong, just as true. But at some point, in order to live and have experiences and open your heart up to new love, you have to acknowledge that the person you love does not feel the same way. It will suck. But with enough time, and with the right person who reciprocates your feelings, you will start to view that heartache as less of a shattered piece of glass and more of a fuzzy image that you can no longer make out as clearly.
12. A broken heart will lead you to thoughts and realizations and recognitions you would have never had otherwise. It gives you new wisdom and new understanding, new experience and new resolve. It takes time to get to this point, because you have to go through the ugly part first, but you will get there. You will.
13. When your heart has been broken, things taste different. People sound different. The world looks different. You feel asleep when you’re awake and alone when you’re asleep. You are not alone in this. Thousands – millions – of other people have felt these things too. These brutal reminders that your life is different now, that you are on your own again. But you will get past it, and you will find happiness again. Because they did. And the next time around, your heart will surprise you with how much it can expand.
14. Love means giving up your control. That’s a large part of why it’s so overwhelming. You can control yourself and your thoughts and your actions, but you can never control the person you love. You cannot choose how much or how little they love you. You cannot prevent them from leaving you. But that’s the best part about it. Love forces you to abandon all routine and organization in your life, and give way to feelings and adrenaline and things that make you feel real and alive.
15. Love and pain go hand in hand. You cannot have one without the other. Either the love ends and you experience deep pain, or the love continues and you experience the lifelong pain of constant fear and worry over what you would do if you ever lost them. You therefore have the choice to view yourself as a prisoner of love, or as someone who was or is lucky enough to feel so much for one person that it actually hurts.
16. The more hurt and suffering that you experience, the more you will treat your next love with as much gentleness and care and respect and tenderness that you can give.
17. You don’t have to destroy the memories of the person who broke your heart. You don’t have to erase them from your life and pretend that they do not exist. In fact, you don’t want to do any of that, or else all this pain will have been for nothing. Just embrace the fact that you are going to hurt for a while, that you loved someone courageously and it did not work out, that you cannot regret anything or question anything because all you did was love and there’s nothing wrong with that. Learn from this experience, let your heart get even larger than it was before, and never let your heartache take you. Take your heartache, because you are more powerful than you think.
18. Your mind and your heart are different. Your heart will not simply stop loving someone just because your mind tells it to. Embrace both your heart and your mind for the powerful things that they are, but don’t try to make one do the job of the other. Let your heart decide when it’s ready to be whole again, and let your mind guide you in the process.