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A Broken Heart Doesn’t Mean It Was All For Nothing

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Jose Alfredo Lerma Contreras

You loved. And you loved. And you loved.
And you were broken.

This is the same old song, the love story gone wrong. The person you thought would be the one failed you; the dreams you had were crushed in front of your face. How do you pick yourself up? How do you start again? And do you even want to?

I hear those thoughts running through your mind. I’ve been there. We all have. We’ve all tried to pick up the pieces. We’ve all cried. We’ve all watched the happy couples around us, wondering what the hell went wrong and why we haven’t found that yet. We’ve all imagined the idea of gathering ourselves and going back out into the dating world to search for a new connection, and even the thought of starting over makes us shudder.

Why is it that we get broken and become so terrified of love?

Why is it that no matter what we do or give, we always seem to end up hurt?

I wish there was a code for love, some kind of secret that we could learn to save ourselves from pain. I wish you weren’t reading this, nodding your head, reliving all the painful moments of your past and longing to undo some loves, some relationships, so that you wouldn’t feel that dull ache in your chest.

I wish love didn’t have to suck sometimes.

But if you hadn’t gone through what you went through, would you have settled for less? Would you have found yourself in a bad relationship or with the wrong person? If you hadn’t been broken in love, would you have realized what you deserve? Would you have learned to fight, to let go, to move on from people who aren’t right for you?

If your heart hadn’t been broken, would you have learned to heal and gone out in search of love, real love, again?

We get broken by love. It happens. But in every heartbreak there is a lesson. In every failed relationship there is a journey of strength. In every pain, there is eventual positivity, as we turn our perspectives to the purpose rather than the ache.

When we’re let down, left, abused, mistreated, cheated on, we only see the negative. And of course we do! Because we’re devastated, we’re shattered, we’re reduced to nothing. But these terrible moments are not the end. This pain does not have permanent power over us. And these failed relationships weren’t worthless because even in the lowest moments, we didn’t lose—we gained.

Heartbreak does not mean our love was all for nothing. We cared, we gave, and though we ended up empty, we loved. And it was real for a moment. And thus worth it, no matter the outcome.

So often we see our heartbreak as wasted time, wasted energy. Because we ended up with a broken heart, our love was all for nothing, giving ourselves to that person was pointless.

But it wasn’t, was it?

Because heartbreak teaches you to heal. Because pain shows you how to be strong when everything around you crumbles. Because losing the wrong person encourages you to seek new love, real love, with the right person.

And though you’ve found yourself broken by love a time or two, what you’ve learned and will continue to learn with every failed relationship, is the person you are. A person of worth and strength.

So allow yourself to grieve, allow yourself to feel pain, allow yourself to rebuild. And allow yourself the freedom heartbreak brings—the freedom to let go, to learn, and to begin again. TC mark


Marisa Donnelly is a poet and author of the book, Somewhere on a Highway, available here.

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Love a soft person. The ones who are positive, even in the worst of circumstances. Someone whose strength is not in bravado, but in their quiet. Someone who is strong for others because that is what is needed in that moment. Someone who is the moon that soothes instead of the sun that burns. Someone who sees the very best in people even when you think they aren’t worth it. The kind of person who always wants to do the best for those they love.

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