Thank the Ones Who Broke You
The waters will calm down, you'll see sight of the shore, and suddenly understand the purpose of it all.
For years I have told my friends, "I honestly have the worst luck with dating guys." I wasn't saying this because of self-doubt or just after one lousy date with some idiot. No, I truly believed it.
Let me give you a little insight into what I am talking about:
- I had a boyfriend who broke up with me over a text message and on the day of our two-year anniversary.
- I was almost engaged to someone who broke up with me because he "needed to focus on his job" and then proceeded to date a new girl just two weeks of breaking up with me. I found out through Facebook.
- After not dating anyone for five months, the first guy I started having feelings for told me he was leaving me for his ex-girlfriend.
- I've had five guys in a matter of one year who all left me for their ex-girlfriends. I'm fairly certain two of those guys are married to them now.
- I fell in love with a guy and dated him for a year (after being single for almost two years). He ghosted me (never formally broke up with me) and never gave an explanation as to why he was leaving. To this day, I have no idea why he left (and I'll probably die never actually knowing what happened). It's been about three years since I last spoke to him.
- I dated a guy last year who cheated on me. I also found out through Facebook.
And my list goes on...
These are the cards I have been dealt for the last four years. Some have apologized for their actions, and I have as well because I am not a perfect woman. Others left and didn't think twice about how much of a mental and emotional impact they left on me. But how do I get to the place where I can thank them for their hurtful actions?
The first big leap to take is forgiveness. Regardless, if you received a heart felt apology, it's in your best interest to forgive that person. Why? The weight of unforgiveness can become so heavy that we not only have a difficult time getting to the next season in our lives, but we eventually place that weight on someone else. Someone who doesn't deserve to take on your bitterness and resentment towards the people of your past. Forgive them and your heavy chains will start to break free.
You'll need to forgive yourself next. Our brains are naturally geared towards looking at what others have done to us; what pain that they have inflicted, how they rejected us, and how we are left to clean up the mess that they made. It's human. But I'm sure if you took the thorn out of your own eye, you'd see you weren't so perfect yourself. Whatever you see, acknowledge it, forgive yourself for it, and then let it be. Forgiving yourself is just as important as forgiving others.
Repeat it. So many of us get wrapped in the illusion that forgiveness is a one-and-done process. It's a daily practice. Any moments you find yourself boiling with anger, or small things like a song that came on your Pandora radio station, you breathe and forgive them again. And again. And again, until you can be at a place of contentment and peace with your situation. The process will become more manageable with time.
Then finally you will be approaching the next season of your life where the most painful experiences you were once drowning in suddenly becomes more clear. The waters will calm down, you'll see sight of the shore, and suddenly understand the purpose of it all. It might be a new career path that someone helped you determine. It could be a new friend or a deeper relationship that you had been craving for years. Or even lead you home; to somewhere you have dreamt of moving to for years. You'll approach that shift in your life where those moments of confusion, anger, and sadness start to align into something that makes more sense to you.
It could be as little as three months or as long as 17 years. You won't ever know the time table until you become thankful for all the people who broke you along the way. But you'll find that they never truly broke you in the first place; they were only leading you to where your soul ached to be. You'll become grateful for your past and every wrong decision you might have made.
So thank your ex from high school or the idiot who only dated you for three weeks, and then went back to his ex. Thank the man who ghosted you after dating for a year. They all lead you right here.