Three months. Three months of eternal happiness and consistent companionship. That was how long my last relationship lasted until it was over. We’d spent the holidays together and welcomed the New Year in with a sweet kiss. And then things began to change in the relationship. In a blink of an eye, it was over. The reason could be filled by a multiple choice quiz. There I was again suddenly in this space of “what do I do next?” I’m the resolver in the relationship. You know, the one who likes to talk things through for hours to save the relationship. Guilty. The relationship was over and suddenly there was a void in my life. No more good morning text messages, making plans for the weekend or spooning on the couch on Sunday afternoon. I’d lost a small part of my routine. For most women, there’s always someone new, a friend, or an old flame to rekindle a spark. I didn’t want those things. I wasn’t ready for someone new, a temporary fix, or just a fling. At a certain point in our dating lives, we began to seek partners with more substance than just physical attraction.
I made a choice. Either to remain in the pain or begin to heal. I chose to heal. Healing meant reevaluating what happened and choosing to take it as a learning experience. In doing so I began to realize that before I could start over fresh with a new partner, I need to take some time and love me. Of course, I love myself and you hear people say all the time love yourself first. But, what exactly does that look and feel like? A few sips of wine? Sure. A night out with girlfriends? Of course. What about the lingering emptiness on the inside of me. I’m guilty of being a relationship magnet. I’ve been in relationships on and off since I was eighteen. Hoping each one would manifest into this magical fairytale relationship. Well, when that didn’t work I jumped into the next one. I mean, isn’t that what you’re supposed to do? Wrong.
In any area of life, there must be a balance. Balance in our personal and professional lives. When one is exceeding the other our worlds become chaotic and confusing. I needed to heal and take some time out to nurture my heart back into a place where love is embraced openly. My journey began simply with a letter to myself. I needed to be honest about what I wanted out of life and in a relationship. After I read my thoughts on paper, I gave myself permission to forgive myself and my partner. I contributed to the relationship not working and I needed to forgive myself for my errors, not just my partners. The only way to move forward in life is to forgive and forget, even when the apology you hope for never comes. As I journeyed through my healing process I realized that I was beginning to smile from the inside again. The weight of my past could no longer hold me back or slow me down. I was mending the pieces of my heart and life and it felt good. I was beginning to love me on a different level. A me that loved early morning meditation, working out, going to bed early, connecting with the people in my life on a deeper level, and learning something new. In life, we will hurt and go through pain. That pain will either make or break you. Sure, I could relive the happier moments of my past relationship. I could behave erratically and stalk him on social media. Or, I could whine to my friends about how much I hate love. Instead, I chose to feel the pain, learn from it, and grow within myself a more beautiful woman while discovering the love for me. We are never perfect in relationships or in our private lives. We are all continuous works in progress. While you’re working towards a degree, a paycheck, or happily ever after take some time and love yourself more. You’ll thank yourself later, I promise.