Love is a many splendored thing, wrote Shakespeare. If you are a student of English Literature, you will know that one of the meanings of this line is that love, among other things, gives meaning to life.
However, does the opposite hold true with heartbreak? If love gives meaning to life, does heartbreak take away that meaning, thus ridding us of the will to live? It might seem like that, as I learned during my period of utmost heartbreak many years ago.
But having endured heartbreak and rediscovering life and love once again, I have become a firm believer that everything in life does not happen by chance. It is a part of a bigger design, a higher thought, a deeper more vast power.
In the beginning, it seemed like the forbidden fruit, and forbidden it was indeed. The cute guy sitting in my college classroom wanting to be my friend had virtual “stop signs” written all over him. I was confused, how could something that seemed so right, be so wrong? I enjoyed the adulation, the attraction, the connection. Yet, every bone in my body knew this was wrong. And I, went with the flow.
And there began the most twisted, toxic “relationship” there ever was. You could tell that he was using me; somewhere in the deepest part of my soul even I knew he was using me. But the heart, you know, is a strange thing. Even when the mind is trying to be rational, the heart will reason the opposite.
My mind told me, have you gone nuts? How can you not see how he is ruining you? My heart answered, get lost, mind! I know I can fix him, I know that if I show him more love, he will surely love me the way I love him.
My friends would call me, but I would not answer the phone – what if “the boyfriend” called and the line was engaged? I would not be able to speak to him! My friends would want to take me out for dinner, but I would not go. What if “the boyfriend” wanted to have dinner – I would not be able to spend time with him.
And that was just the beginning.
There was a time when he got a little too friendly with another girl. She’s just a friend, he would insist, but would spend hours with her. I was slowly going insane.
After a year of this madness, my friends slowly stopped calling me. And the list of “friends” (girls) in “the boyfriend’s” list slowly increased. And yet, I stuck around, thinking it will get better, it will turn around for the better.
It only got worse. This was year number three.
One night, I took him out to dinner. I mustered up all my courage to say, listen, this is not working out. I can’t take this anymore. His response to that was, okay. That’s it.
That “okay” was, I believe, one of the most cruel things anyone has ever told me in my life. Somewhere in my heart, I expected he would stop me, ask me why I was saying these things, repent, change. No, not really.
However, from then onward, began my journey of healing. I actually went through the 5 stages of grief that most psychologists talk about.
It started with denial, of course. I told myself, he couldn’t live without me. He’ll be back. He didn’t come back.
The next phase was anger – a better word to use here is rage. I have never felt more contempt, more disgust, more vengeful for anyone else in my life.
After that came bargaining – all the prayers, the requests to God and to him, didn’t work either.
Then came the longest phase of this healing process – the depression. I was depressed for more than a year. The joy and laughter had gone away from my life (it had actually gone much earlier, but this was the clincher).
By the time the last phase of the process came about, the acceptance bit, I began to find myself again. I began to love my single life. My friends, the sweetest people that they are, returned, and were so glad I gave up the filth in my life.
It was around that time – after two years of healing – that my now brother-in-law introduced me to Rohan, a man who would change the course of my life again, this time for the best. Here is the account of that tale.
Whenever I counsel anyone today, I can totally empathise with them – especially when a heartbreak is involved. I don’t know why God made me go through that pain and suffering for almost 4 years – but is it possible that God made me go through all that, just so I can help other young people through their pain? I’d like to think of that as a possibility. And I thank Him for that.
Through this experience, I have learned many lessons. Here are the most important ones:
- Trust your innermost being, and what it tells you. This is probably God trying to warn you about the pain you are about to endure.
- Trust your friends – if all of them have the same judgment about someone, it is possible that they are right.
- Trust his/her words/actions – believe me, if it not for real, it will show in their actions. Does he/she seem far away even though he/she is in front of you? If the answer is yes, and yes all the time, then it is quite possible that this is not meant to be.
- Don’t give up. A failed relationship need not be the end. There is always a light at the end of the tunnel. Things WILL look up, for sure. Trust in God.
I find it so easy to share my past with the world today, because of the loving husband God has given me. As I write this, he read the first draft and said, this is heartfelt, I am sure people will connect with this story.
Don’t think heartbreak is the end of your life – if love gives meaning to life, heartbreak gives the lessons.
Time to embrace both.