I am certain of nothing but the holiness of the heart's affections and the truth of imagination. ~ John Keats Click To Tweet
A break up can be one of the most dreadful experiences one can go through during life, no question about it. But just like every metamorphosis, a break up has the potential to serve as a change that signifies growth.
You’ll feel yourself changing through the different stages of this process, and it’s going to hurt, but in the end it’s going to be incredibly worth it.
It’s also inevitable, so you might as well go with it, because refusing to grow might, in the end, be even more painful. Most of the time, the reason a break up is so bad is because we instantly assume it has to be that way. It’s supposed to be bad and it’s meant to make us sad.
But once you’ve gone through it more than once (and twice, and thrice) the ideal way to handle it is to stop for a second and ask yourself: “Why is this regrettable, again?” At least if you want to keep your sanity, that is. When this question reveals itself, a whole new world unfolds just outside your doorstep, because:
1) There’s a reason you broke up (spoiler alert).
It’s really as simple as this, so be relieved it happened sooner than later. No matter how much time the two of you were together and no matter how much in love you once were, if it wasn’t working anymore, this was the best choice.
The notion that love is supposed to be harsh and hurtful only belongs in the fiction drama aisle of your local bookstore, so if you want to indulge in suffering, read it, don’t live it.
Suggested reading: Romeo and Juliet, Sophie’s Choice, The Great Gatsby… This is where I’d like to remind you of the spoiler alert. You may know about Romeo and Juliet, but if you haven’t read the other references, skip this and head over to the next paragraph. It’s not a full spoiler, though. I’d just like to point out the very important fact that, in these three stories, the tortuous relationship always leads to at least one dead person.
2) You are now a new, better version of yourself.
You have unavoidably grown as a person, and you will keep on growing as you get over this break up. Believe it or not, a break up can teach you as many things about life as being in a relationship does, if not more.
You will learn some amazing — and not so amazing — truths about yourself, and about people in general. And you will be surprised at how tough you are, just because you have no other choice. Even when you feel down, you’ll know that upward is the only way to go.
So say hello to the resilient fighter within you, the one who will teach you what it is that you want, and what it is that you deserve. That is the person who you are going to be dating for the rest of your life, so take some time to get to know them, and to love them first. Only when you actually have yourself, can you truly give yourself to others.
3) You’ve got extra time.
This may sound super cliché, but bear with me here. You see, in the end, being with someone else implies compromise, it implies giving away a little part of yourself in order to really be committed to that other person (and the children to come, if any).
Since you have only one life to live, I invite you to gladly accept the offer presented to you upon this break up, this grace period of living by and for yourself. Oh, the places you’ll go! Oh, the things you’ll do! Oh, the people you’ll meet!
When the time comes to settle and, hopefully, you will do so happily, you don’t want to have any doubts or regrets. Once you take that important step in your life, if you do it for good (which is the whole idea of doing it), there’s no going back. Which leads us to the next point:
4) You’ll meet someone else.
Believe me, there is no such thing as “the one”. The world is a pretty big place, filled with people who are just right for you. Once you start dating again, you’ll see that you keep bumping into these people, and you’ll remember just how beautifully fortuity works its way through our lives. Nothing is meant to be. Everything just… happens, just as it could have not happened. So just give chance, a chance.
5) You don’t worry, you’re happy.
Remember all those time-consuming fights? All the nights in which the pure thought of him or her kept you awake, draining you of all your energy but still not letting you sleep? All that “not-knowing-what-to-do” and “whether-to-break-up-or-not”?
Well, it’s done, it’s over. Which brings us back full circle to reason number one. You weren’t happy. Now you have every reason to be, and so much to look forward to. Now you have endless possibilities before you, and you are free to choose what’s best for you. Not having a toxic relationship in your life is a good start, because this world is hard enough as it is. So choose to live happily.
As a final note, a thought: did you know that, before turning into a butterfly, the caterpillar first digests itself? Well that’s what this is all about. The caterpillar is already born with the stuff it will later need to turn into a butterfly. But it is only in its due time that all of these things begin to grow, and for that to happen, the caterpillar must release enzymes that digest all of its tissues.
Breaking up is also about taking what you’ve got, digesting it to make room, and transforming it into something greater, something that’s already within you.
So see you on the other side, you future butterfly.