Let’s face it, heartbreak sucks! It’s painful. Sometimes excruciating. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned on my journey of many heartbreaks, it’s that I needed to experience that pain! And I will tell you why.
First of all, I want to share with you a quote I read a long time ago. I’m not sure who it’s by, but it gives me goosebumps every time I read it:
“Be thankful for every heartbreak, for they were planned. They come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then leave. Their purpose is to shake you up, tear apart your ego a little bit, show you your obstacles and addictions, break your heart open so new light can get in, make you so desperate and out of control that you have to transform your life. And you do.”Unknown
It wasn’t until a long time after I first read this quote that I really realized what it meant.
My heartbreak story
About 5 years ago, I met a gorgeous Swedish hunk when I was traveling in India. He not only had a beautiful spirit, but he looked like a Viking–completely my type! We had an immediate connection and after a few weeks, we started traveling together.
I traveled on the back of his Royal Enfield motorbike for the best part of 6 months. We traveled all over India and Nepal and stayed in some amazing places. It was an incredible adventure and we ended up falling madly in love.
But over those months I noticed something happening to me. I began to lose myself. I didn’t recognize myself anymore. My life became all about him. What he wanted. How he felt. The only way I can describe it is…I was giving my power away to him.
When I arrived back at my home in England, we agreed that he would move from Sweden and come and live with me. That’s when the relationship really started to get tense. All my worst sides were coming out and I became super jealous and insecure. I began feeling so awful and co-dependent in this relationship that the only thing I could do was to end it.
There’s always a silver lining
The breakup was so painful that my lovely sister took me with her to a yoga retreat in Thailand to cheer me up. She had heard loads about this place and wanted me to come with her. I would realize later just how special this place would become to me.
As cliche as it sounds, I was a shadow of myself when I arrived at the retreat. I was in paradise and I just couldn’t appreciate it. But I owed to my sister and to myself to really make the most of being there. So I went to classes, I spoke to people, I sang at an open mic for the first time, I swam in the ocean, and I cried. A lot.
And as the days went on I felt something shift in me. There was something about this place that made me feel like me again. I felt alive. A zest for life that I hadn’t felt in a long time.
I experienced a second heartbreak when I left that place. Something in me had been ignited again and I knew I just had to go back there!
When I got back home to my empty room in London, I felt so totally lost. I had no idea what I wanted to do and all I could think about was that magical place in Thailand.
Then I thought to myself, “Ooh I wonder if they have any jobs going there?” I know, I was totally dreaming, right?! I decided to write an email to the management team who I had become friends with over there. I became increasingly excited at the prospect of moving to Thailand, even though I knew it was a long shot.
But the next day I received an email from the man that runs the retreat center and he said he would talk to some people for me. He said that they were coming into the busy season over there and may need people.
My heart skipped a beat! What?! You mean, it might actually be possible for me to go and work over there!? In paradise, with all those amazing people!? I couldn’t believe it!
Next thing I knew I was having a Skype chat with the manager, and two weeks later I was on a plane back out to Thailand to help out at the healing center over there.
I was there for 6 months overall and that place truly changed me. Don’t get me wrong, the first month was hard. I didn’t know anyone and my heart was still painfully broken, but bit by bit, I pieced myself back together again.
I felt like me again. And I met a community of friends that have become friends for life. I had discovered a home away from home, a place that is now embedded in my heart forever that I can go visit whenever I like for a recharge.
Time for reflection
Of course, while I was spending my ‘heart mending’ 6 months in Thailand, I did a lot of reflecting on the relationship and why it ended the way it did.
I was super happy traveling on my own in India before I met my ex. So what was it about that relationship that made me so miserable?
I was seeking approval from him! I wanted him to love me, to appreciate me, to see me. I molded myself to become what I thought he wanted me to be. I made what he did and what he thought, more important than what I thought! And in the end, I lost myself.
And you know what? I also realized that I had been doing that in all my relationships. And like that quote says, another layer of myself had been revealed to me, my obstacles and addictions were being shown to me. I needed to experience that heartbreak in order too know what I needed to work on in myself.
I need to learn how to stop giving my power away. To stop caring about what others think so much. And most importantly, I need to learn how to truly love myself.
I really do believe that the more we start loving ourselves, the less painful our relationships and our breakups will be.
If, like the quote says, the purpose of each break up is to “tear apart your ego a little bit”, then the less ego we have the less painful it will be, right?
It’s only ever our mind that’s the problem. And if every break up shows us what patterns we still have to work through and in what ways we’re not loving ourselves, don’t we want to experience as many breakups as possible to get us closer to who we really are and who we really want to be?
If you’re hurting right now from a breakup or any kind of loss for that matter, know that it’s temporary. Your heart will heal. And like a caterpillar struggling to get out of its cocoon, you will emerge from the struggle more beautiful, more colorful, and more vibrant than ever before.
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