“As my heart broke into a million pieces I found myself grateful for the pain because I knew it would be the soil for which my growth would emerge.” ~ @christajanine
I am the type of human who loves deeply and unconditionally, but when relationships start to falter I am also the type of human who wants to put in the extra effort to “make it work.” I don’t often talk about my relationships, past or present, because outside of my tight group of friends I’m actually a very private person.
However, today I’m sharing a very vulnerable part of myself and one of the most profound relationships. Now, I’m not naming names, because names are irrelevant and the overall moral of the story can be grasped without putting ALL my business out in these streets. LOL
I remember telling one of my friends when I first met this person, “regardless of if we end up together forever or not I know he’s in my life for a reason.” Now, at first read that sounds beautiful, romantic even, but here’s the gotcha moment even though people come into our lives for a reason, that reason may not be a pleasant one.
In the beginning everything was amazing. It was more than amazing. This man presented as someone I could legitimately be with for the rest of my life. However, as time went on his true colors finally began to show, but I couldn’t bring myself to let go of the fantasy I had created in my mind of what we could become.
As the years continued to pass and he remained the same the heartache in my spirit grew deeper, but I still couldn’t let him go. I’d love to tell you that it was because I loved him so much and was naive enough to believe that’d be enough. However, the reality is my ego is what kept me in this relationship. I could not bring myself to admit I had been so extremely wrong about a man I loved with everything in me. I couldn’t admit that I had been so broken that I was willing to accept whatever little bit of attention and affection he offered me when it was convenient for him. Admitting that he was a selfish jerk would actually be me admitting I had failed at protecting and loving myself.
In hindsight I can wholeheartedly say my relationship with him was necessary for me to become the woman I am today. This relationship rebirthed traumas from my childhood I had suppressed but needed to resolve. It forced me to go inward and really discover who I was and what I wanted. It showed me the true source of all my insecurities and enabled a point of reference for me to begin the healing process with my therapist.
Gaining the confidence and power to finally speak up when this person mistreated me or made me uncomfortable has given me the tools to do so in other relationships in my life. It has cultivated my intuition to heights I never could have imagined, and in all honestly, I am a better person for experiencing the heartache and pain this relationship caused in my life. I know that sounds crazy or even a bit ridiculous, but in order for growth to happen there has to be a pruning process. In order for compassion to grow, there must be a level of suffering. In order for strength to develop you have to endure some level of discomfort.
Now, let me make one thing very clear I do not condone or support staying in toxic relationships, but I share this story because I know I stayed in that situation until I learned the lesson(s) I needed to learn in order to move on and truly experience growth in my life.
I once had a therapist tell me that all the pain and sadness I experienced in life was only making space for the joy and abundance that was coming my way. You may feel as though your heart has been shattered into a million pieces over and over again, but I just want you to know that those open spaces are there to make room for the love that is coming your way. In all aspects of our lives there is a time when we have to make room for the growth that is coming our way, and unfortunately growth is uncomfortable and sometimes it hurts like hell.
Today my challenge for you is simple. I challenge you to embrace the growth. To be grateful for the sadness in your life just as much as you rejoice in the happiness. Embrace the discomfort of expanding who you are, and be grateful for the experiences that are collectively pushing you closer towards the person you were destined to be.