Once upon a time, I was in a five-year relationship. There were good times and bad times, but overall—it was just a lot of time. A lot of shared experiences. A lot of shared life. It was a devastating loss at the time, but, now, I’m so grateful for the experience because breaking up made me a strong woman.
Yes, I was sad when we went our separate ways. But more than anything, I was so incredibly lost. I didn’t know what to do with my time. I didn’t even know what I liked to do. I had no idea who I was by myself.
I wasn’t exactly a fan of feeling my emotional pain; what I really wanted to do was fast-forward to the next “good part” of my life. To me, that chapter would include either us getting back together or me finding the right Mr. Right. After a few fumbles, I decided to give the old “healing process” a try.
At first, I had to take it one excruciating minute at a time, and time seemed to stand still. But, eventually, those minutes turned into days. Days turned into weeks. Weeks turned into months. The random crying fits became fewer and farther between until, one day, I realized they were gone. I noticed longer spans of feeling happy: smiling, laughing, and then, amazingly—truly living! That is when I discovered the beauty of the healing process.
I learned 5 lessons from breaking up and walking through the healing process, and I think they will help you, too:
1. It’s not always lonely to be alone.
When I was in a relationship, I filled all of my spare time with him and what he liked to do. When we broke up, I realized I literally had no idea what to do with myself when I was alone. After a while, I discovered how much I enjoy free time. I found that I like to paint my nails while I watch a movie. I like to read a book in a quiet room or bustling coffee shop. I like to wander around the mall and shop. I love to go for long walks and listen to music or a good podcast. I like to be creative and start a new project or hobby. I simply enjoyed being me, and I discovered that being alone can be incredibly refreshing.
That’s when I discovered the beauty of the healing process after a breakup.
2. Making your own decisions is fun.
I was used to sharing the radio and TV, and I honestly didn’t mind. I was happy to go with the flow. I never felt discontent with his selections, but when it came down to me choosing for myself, I had no clue what I wanted to listen to or watch. Bizarre, I know. What I found is that I do like classic rock, with or without his influence. On the contrary, I never turned on the country station when he was out of the picture. These are such silly little things to learn about yourself, but I found it quite fun. I liked thinking for myself, and I really liked discovering who I am without influence.
3. You might surprise yourself.
Who knew I had an adventurous streak? I always considered myself laid back and content with the status-quo. Until I wasn’t. With my newfound free time, I developed an appetite for travel and exploration. Suddenly, the world seemed a lot bigger, not scarier. Should I fly out to Colorado and go hiking with my bestie from college? Why not! Should I take that trip to Haiti and help serve others? Sign me up! Should I join that club of like-minded people and show up to the first meeting alone? Yes, I can do it! I liked stepping out of my comfort zone and watching courage displace my fears.
All of a sudden, the world seemed bigger, not scarier because I was single.
4. Life is full of some pretty great people.
While walking through the healing process, I leaned on my friends and family in ways I never had
before the breakup. I talked about the thoughts that swirled around in my mind and how they hurt my
heart. I let the people I trusted in and allowed them to speak into the mess, and I realized that I had a whole lot more love in my life than I ever knew was there—with or without a significant other. Overall, my relationships deepened, and so did I.
5. I like me!
This was honestly a new concept for me. Because I took the time to consider what I enjoyed, explore my interests, meet new people, and invest in my relationships, I felt like an interesting person! Self-discovery led to self-development, and I enjoyed the growth process.
The years I spent as a single woman were so sweet and truly very exciting! Once I got through the pain, it was like a door opened up to a whole new world.
When you give yourself time to heal, you begin to see what you’re really made of. At first, it might be a rude awakening, as it was for me. I didn’t really like what I saw inside. In fact, I felt like there really wasn’t much substance at all. But, if you choose to walk through the pain rather than around it, you will amaze yourself. You will watch yourself become stronger, braver, kinder, and more independent every single day. You will grow as a person, and you will be so proud of who you’re becoming: a strong woman.
Self-discovery led to self-development, and I enjoyed the growth process.
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