It’s surprisingly easy to romanticize heartache and make it look pretty, to wrap yourself in it and wear it like the t-shirt they left behind.
You find a strange sense of melancholic comfort in the reminiscence, the nostalgia, the sadness, because that’s where you still get to be with them. That’s where you still feel their skin on yours. That’s where you know it was real.
What we fail to see is that for the most part, heartache isn’t pain —it’s self-inflicted suffering.
Suffering is making someone stay who isn’t with you anymore. It’s trying to write a different ending to a chapter that’s been closed.
It’s lying awake pondering what hurts more, forgetting or remembering, and thinking about all the things you should have said instead of goodbye.
It’s loss, and it’s grief, and it’s learning that things can feel so breathtakingly beautiful and then end in a heartbeat.
It’s questioning the truth about everything because the most real thing you’ve ever felt was so easily dismissed.
It’s sifting through the pain while searching for meaning and not finding answers and only ever seeing their face in all the chaos, in all the storm, realizing you had no choice but to feel what you felt.
And of course, it is hard to watch them go. To hurt like you’re the only one hurting. And of course, it isn’t fair. No one ever said it was. The pain is real—god, it is real—but the suffering we inflict on ourselves is often disproportionate to what we’re actually experiencing.
Suffering is the story we fabricate around our pain to make sense of what happened to us, to make it all just a little more bearable. We tell ourselves that story so many times, twisting the knife in our heart over and over instead of pulling it out.
We beautify heartache and longing without realizing we’re painting the walls of a house that holds nothing for us. We’re heating empty rooms for someone who left the front door wide open when they walked away with everything but the intention of coming back.
Things change the moment you realize they left the door open for a reason.
Things change the moment you realize they unlocked it for you to step out of a place you didn’t know you were trapped in. They came into your life exactly for that purpose.
Thank them and go.
Step out of the comfort you confused with pain. You must shed light on the way forward instead of roaming in the shadow of what it means to have loved and lost.
This is where healing begins. Learning you don’t need to stay in places you don’t belong to anymore, places that are too small for you, places you’ve outgrown. Understanding you exist outside of pain.
Healing is realizing there is no need to hold onto what is not serving you, what is not meant for you, and allowing yourself to release it.
Healing is accepting the unacceptable, and it’s the hardest thing you will ever have to do. It is also what sets you free for what is truly meant to be yours.
Yes, you will have to make a home for them in your heart, and yes, you will have to hold space for the pain, too, but you can’t live in those walls anymore. You have many homes, and you shouldn’t visit that one too often, even though it used to be your favorite place.
Walk through that door. Go out there. There’s so much more to see, so many more homes to build within you.