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Here’s Why You Should Be Thankful For Every Person Who Ever Let You Down

The people who let us down in life are often our greatest teachers. They’re the ones who teach beyond the walls of the classroom by thickening our once paper-thin skin and getting us well-versed in tribulation.

The ones who shatter our hearts are the ones that help us realize we can piece them back together again. They remind us of the alchemy we possess to mend our deepest wounds. Once the warm blanket of a lover is ripped from our body, we are forced to acclimate to the winter chill, and before we know it, our bones stop rattling.

The ones who leave us for dead are the ones who grant us the opportunity to find our own way out of the debris, to be our own savior. They toss us out of the life raft amid a hurricane, and we not only learn to keep our heads above water, but we eventually swim to shore.

The one who makes us feel like yesterday’s garbage is just another teacher prompting us to recall our worth. They’re shouting, “If you don’t love yourself, how do you expect me to?”

People who love themselves with ferocity don’t cling to toxic relationships. They focus on filling themselves with everything they could ever need without asking anyone to do it for them.

I suppose what all this translates to is those who don’t love us teach us the most valuable lesson of all: self-love.

Lessons never arrive in the form of love or laughter. They never arrive in times of sweet romance or joy. Lessons like to slip through the cracks of our darkest moments, the ones that demand waterworks and echoed screams.

Confronting these lessons is the main reason we exist. We’re meant to look them in the eye and discover what we’re made of. We’re even meant to misinterpret them sometimes.

I used to have so much pent-up resentment for those who wronged me in my past. I’ve realized that holding onto that hostility is not only causing me more pain but it’s concealing the lessons behind it. It’s dragging my focus away from all the new life that has formed in its place. New life such as companionship, heart-thumping adventure, or even just a rehabilitated perspective.

Think about every mishap you’ve experienced. Every bruise, every trauma, every surge of emotion. Did they ultimately lead you somewhere worse than where you were previously? Were the lessons not worth it in the end? The transition doesn’t always happen the way we think it will, and it most definitely doesn’t happen when we think it will, but it happens nevertheless.

Thanks to our beloved teachers, we’ve traveled lightyears ahead of our past selves. If it weren’t for them, we’d be far too fragile to face the world on our own.

Fluent storyteller, memoirist and lover of prose poetry

Keep up with Valerie on Instagram and oldsoulsearching.com