‘I see the tracks of ev’ry tear that ran right down your face. I see the hurt, I see the pain, I see the human race.’ ~ Annie Lennox, Universal Child
Is the person you love hurting you? They express remorse, promise to change, declare their love for you, but then it happens again. The let down. The lies. And all you have is the pain. The tears. And the broken heart.
When I look back now it is hard to imagine why I stayed in a loveless and destructive relationship for so long. I was devoted yet received so little in return. I gave my all and forgave all in the mistaken belief that I was being compassionate and supportive. Yet tolerating isn’t loving and existing isn’t living.
I poured out my unconditional love because even though my head kept telling me it wasn’t worth it, my heart disagreed. Because you reap what you sow. Right?
Not necessarily. Just as to reap good crops you have to sow your seed in good soil, you have to sow your love into a good relationship. That is, a shared partnership of mutual affection, trust, commitment and respect. My relationship was void of all of those.
‘You either teach people to treat you with dignity and respect, or you don’t.’ ~ Dr Phil McGraw
The problem was that I should never have got involved in the first place. The abuse I had encountered in my younger years had destroyed my sense of self-esteem and self-worth. Consequently, I didn’t require anyone to treat me any better than I thought I deserved.
Additionally the rejection issues I had experienced as a child had left me with a fear of attaching to anyone, so that even when I did form a bond I never expected it to last.
Little surprise then that my relationships were at best short-lived and superficial, at worst destructive and detrimental to my well-being on every level. One thing I knew for certain though and that was the result would be a broken heart. Usually mine.
If like me you have been hurt or are hurting still, it’s time to heal. If you thought that your love would be good enough for them, it was. But their love was not good enough for you. Not then and not now.
Remember that the more you invest in a relationship, the greater the harm to your soul if the commitment is not reciprocated. And when the love you have given is exploited, it strips your spirit of joy and dims the light of your inner-being.
‘He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.’ ~ Psalm 147:3
Faith taught me that just as love hurts, so does it heal. In the rawness of an ending of a something you believed to be special, it can feel that your heart is broken beyond repair. But it is possible to recover and to discover a love so infinite and so complete that the pain of the past is but a wisp of a memory.
That same love you gave away you must now be used in abundance to nurture your mind, body and soul. Stop telling yourself that you will never love anyone again. You will. But only when you completely and unconditionally immerse yourself with the love that lies within.
‘The truth is, unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize that the situation is over, you cannot move forward.’ ~ Steve Maraboli
Your new life, your new love awaits. But you can’t embrace either if your heart and mind hold on to what’s gone before. As devastating as it feels, the ending also signifies a beginning. And forgiveness is the key to unlock your wonderful new start.
All that resentment, anger, fear and loneliness can only be overcome through a willingness to forgive. Forgiveness isn’t condoning what someone else had done or said. It is empowering yourself by replacing the negativity of the past with compassion, happiness, truth and peace.
Forgiving yourself is equally as important. Release yourself from the blame and shame that keeps you captive for by doing so you will find the freedom to live your life with the love of your life.
Help your heart to heal by accepting that love is accountable. You can’t make anyone change but you can take responsibility for your own life. It’s time to stop living your life through someone else and start taking your love to a new level by putting yourself first. Because if loving someone else means you have to stop loving yourself that is too high a price to pay.
‘He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.’ ~ Epictetus
Finally, in those times when the pain is ripping you apart, dig deep into your soul and search for those things for which you can still be grateful. When your wounded heart is screaming for attention, focus on what you have and what you will have. Whatever your circumstances you can always find something or someone who gives you a speck of hope.
In my own journey of recovery, I found it was my moments of despair that the light of my faith shined the brightest. It provided me with the strength, comfort and gratitude that I needed to affirm my worthiness. And it reminded me that as broken as I was, I was lovable and precious. And that I could be restored.
Join me by resolving to be stronger than the pain of yesterday, find peace for today and pursue your dreams for tomorrow.
For my broken heart has healed. So can yours.
‘You have within you more love than you can ever understand.’ ~ Rumi