Having your heart broken can be such a humbling experience. Once the initial sadness and anger pass, you’re left with this dreadfully loud, answer-seeking silence. Usually I like being in my own head (such an entertaining place to be), but this silence is the worst. It forces this unfavorable self-check; one that makes you assume some responsibility for what’s happened to you…and who really wants to do that? The only upside to having your heart broken is working the role of the “victim” and claiming your “victim” benefits.
As an unfortunate regular, I must say that I love my perks. You get showered with hugs and sympathy. You gain a “we hate him too” crew. You receive pity drinks at the bar… Yes, I love it all. Now, did any of these perks help me move on with my life? No. Did they help me avoid repeating the same mistakes? Not at all. They just kept me vulnerable and made me comfortable in my low place.
But when I encountered the biggest heartbreak of my adult life, all I wanted to do was get out of that low place. And I couldn’t do that by milking my perks. I had to face those annoying self-checks and come to terms with:
FIVE TRUTHS ABOUT YOUR HEARTBREAK:
1PEOPLE WILL DO WHAT YOU ALLOW THEM TO DO.
When you found out that you could get away with being 5 minutes late to work, what happened? Did 5 minutes turn into 10 minutes the next time? Did the next time turn into all of the time? When your grandmother agreed to babysit for that one emergency you had, how many more “emergencies” did you suddenly find yourself having? When your landlord overlooked your late rent last month, how did you subconsciously adjust your grace period? We love to test our limits; especially if it allows us to get something for nothing. And if the repercussion wasn’t strong enough the first time, we keep pushing.
The only reason they were able to play tag or hide-and-seek with their presence in your life is because you played back. The only reason that they were able to hit and run is because you kept turning back the sheets. The only reason they were able to take without giving is because you didn’t require an exchange.
2THE TRUTH IS OFTEN THE ONE IN FRONT OF YOU.
Not liking the story in front of you doesn’t make it any less real. No matter how much energy you put into making it sound logical, you can’t edit the truth. You shouldn’t have to over-complicate the story to make it work out in your favor. Its never that complicated. How much time are you spending explaining the situation to others or to yourself, even? Your explanation shouldn’t include a “but”, “if” or “because” every other sentence.
3YOU ARE NOT THE RIGHT ONE FOR EVERYONE.
Most of us think pretty highly of ourselves. We have so much to offer someone, how could we not be right for them? Our ego gives us the illusion that we are the only ones to offer what we offer. But there are a lot of amazing people out here (thank goodness, or else we would be screwed)! Your combination of “amazing” may not be the one that unlocks their heart. And even if it is…
4THEY HAVE TO BE THE ONE TO SEE YOU AS “THE RIGHT ONE”.
You might find it undeniable how perfectly you fit into each others life. You’re a big talker and they’re a great listener. You both prefer Netflix over the theater. You like to spend money and they’re great at saving it. You both share a passion for music and the arts. You cook, (s)he eat. I get it. The weaknesses and negative traits that you two have may work to each others advantage perfectly. But you can’t be the only one to see that.
5IF IT DOESN’T FEEL HEALTHY, THEN IT PROBABLY ISN’T.
You shouldn’t spend more time crying than laughing. Or more time mourning than celebrating. If you can count the good times on one hand, then something might be wrong. If the relationship makes you question yourself more than appreciate yourself, something might be wrong. If you find yourself conjuring up ways to make them “see” you, or trust you, something might be wrong. Healthy relationships don’t require you to manipulate them or the people in it.
What truth did you have to accept in order to move on?