Memories of Letting Go

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Today I went to a place that I haven’t visited in a long time. A place called memories of a broken heart.

In my early twenties I fell in love with what I told myself at the time was the perfect man for me. He made me feel…and now that I think back, most of the things he made me feel were not good. In fact, I often felt insecure when I was with him, thinking that I was the lucky one. In my mind I made him king, and told myself he was everything a woman could hope for, clearly ignoring the numerous red flags. Before he could prove himself worthy, I had already given him my stamp of approval and my heart. In my confusing web of emotions, I forgot my value and worth and compromised myself over and over again. The thing about compromising your values and principles is that it always takes you farther than you planned on going. I had compromised so much, that in my mind we had to work or else how would I make sense of any of it to myself? So I told myself that I would and could win him over with my actions, that I could prove my worth and love for him. Yet somehow I came up empty. I thought I was stronger than that.

The heartbreak that followed left a deep crack in my already shaky foundation. He had made it clear, he did not love me and it sent me in a frenzy of emotions. He avoided my “feelings” and me and I spent my days wishing the gut-wrenching pain would go away and crying my eyes out. When he left, I felt that he had taken a piece of my heart, and I was not sure how to reclaim it.

He came back, and I indulged him briefly before I decided I would have to let him go for good. My sanity, self-esteem and integrity demanded it, and though I probably wouldn’t have articulated it like that at 22, I knew that his uncertainties, demands and emotional distance were unhealthy. I do not know where I got the strength to let go, but one day I changed my phone number and address, and thus began my journey to self-love.

Today I can look at that dark period in my life and smile. The brokenness I felt from that relationship ironically provided me with the foundation that I needed to rebuild, and build I did when I took the first step and let go. The experience forced me to look at the missing pieces in my life. I examined the unhealthy beliefs that resulted in self-deprecation and devaluing, and decided to change. He did what I was doing to myself and what I allowed him to do to me. This relationship was not just a heartbreak where two people or one person fell out of love, this was a situation where someone (me) confused manipulation for love and allowed someone else (him) to treat me less that I deserved. Holding up the mirror to my life, forced me to realize that I owed myself more, that I would have to value and love me first instead of looking to someone else to give me worth.

I can gladly say that the woman I was then is not the woman I am today.

I am stronger than I thought I was.

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