“Ego says, once everything falls into place, I will find my peace. Spirit says, once I find my peace, everything will fall into place.” ~Marianne Williamson
I fell in love with my best friend last year.
I spent the next 8 months trying to convince him to love me as completely and intensely as I loved him.
I put everything I wanted on the sidelines and was there for him every moment, any time of the day, ditching friends, parties and whatever else may have come along in my life.
All of these things were attempts to insinuate to him that there was no other option than for him to fall madly in love with me.
How could he have not known my desire for him to love and care for me as I did for him?
We were together 24/7, we called each other at the same time, we had this uncanny way of knowing what the other was thinking, we cared about each other a lot, and most of all, my heart was on my sleeve whenever I saw him.
One day, out of the blue, he told me that he had gotten back together with his ex-girlfriend.
Within two short and painful weeks, they had moved back in together, and have recently been talking about marriage.
That’s when it all changed.
This time. I decided it would be the last time: the last time I insert myself into an unhealthy relationship.
This time, things will be different. This time I will not get hurt.
How many times have I said that to myself? Too many to keep track. But this time…this time is different.
Why? Because the best part about this time is that it isn’t about how other people affect me, it’s about me.
This time it is about my friendships, my relationships, my family and my interactions with each of those people.
For the first time, I have taken a holistic approach to healing, incorporating meditation, yoga, the outdoors and journaling, and this time, I think it just may have worked.
Here are 5 life-changing lessons I’ve learned from heartbreak.
1. Find fulfillment and meaning within yourself, not in others.
Often, when you love someone, you put your own needs aside in hopes that making the other person happy will somehow fulfill your own need to be happy.
When they’re happy, you’re happy, so that means you’re happy, right?
That may work for a while, until they’re not in your life anymore.
Then you wake up in the morning, without that person in your life, and you realize that you have no idea what you want to do, where you want to go, or with whom you want to do it, because you now realize that most of your time has been invested in the other person’s wants and needs and in making them happy.
Taking time to check in with your heart and to feel and do what makes you happy is so important.
Because when they are no longer there, you are left empty, and that emptiness cannot be filled with anyone or anything (I’ve tried!).
2. You are responsible for your own emotions.
No one can make you feel anything.
Learn to take responsibility for your own emotions, and allow your friends, family and partner to feel and be responsible for theirs.
You and only you can allow yourself to feel sorrow, hurt, love, or whatever emotion based on your own past experiences.
When you start blaming others for how you are feeling, you get into a real mess.
You may even feel resentful that they’ve moved on, and you are stuck trying to survive the emotional craziness of a break up. How dare they!
You are ultimately responsible for your own happiness, your own sadness, and your ability to heal. And that is an EMPOWERING thought.
3. You have a choice.
“The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” Alice Walker
You can feel however you want. The key to your joy and peace of mind is in your own hands.
Once you’ve realized that happiness begins with you, you get to choose to be happy, and to learn from every emotion you feel.
Isn’t it interesting that when you choose to be happy, others around you also seem happy?
When you no longer blame others for the situation you are in, there is nowhere else to look but inside.
4. Make yourself a priority.
You have to learn to be selfish.
You have to say “no” to friends and “no” to situations that no longer serve you.
You have to look inside yourself to see what you want, which isn’t always easy, but you’ll find the pay-off to be amazing.
Through selfishness, you will be able to reach more people than ever before.
You will feel emotions more deeply than you have in years, have stronger connections with the people around you, and make new friends who support your journey.
The universe opens up when we listen to our hearts.
5. Learn from your mistakes and be more conscious in your relationships.
You don’t have to say, “why me?” or feel crushed by your break up, separation or divorce.
Each relationship is an opportunity to grow.
Despite the pain, tears and heartbreak, your romantic partner is there to be of service to your life.
They will teach you to love more, forgive more, and let go of your ego more readily.
Once you realize the mistakes you’ve made, you have the choice to not make them again.
You also have the choice to be more responsible for your life, gain more control over your emotions and to choose yourself a little more with each passing relationship.
These are some of the lessons I’ve learned from my last relationship that have helped me become a better and more centered person.
As your heart heals during your journey back to wholeness, you too will have another opportunity to start living a healthier and more heart-centered life.
This time, you’ll have the benefit of these additional insights about yourself to do even better when love comes into your life again.
Do any of these lessons resonate with you? What lessons have you learned from love and heartbreak?