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Ten Things that Heart Break Taught Me

I truly do believe that things happen for a reason and what you have yet learn life will teach you. Life is a journey, a journey of good and bad and everything you go through will shape who you are for the better. Heartbreak is life’s toughest, most effective teachers. Unfortunately, heartbreak sucks and it feels awful but the lessons that you can learn from it are worth it in the end. Whether you are single, in a loving relationship or going through heartbreak, hopefully you can take something away from this article, learn something valuable and grow.


I had a boyfriend in high school that I thought I loved very much but it wasn’t until two years later that I realized the difference a breakup and heartbreak, between puppy love and real stuff! I remember it like it was yesterday. We stood outside facing one another, the cool night air blowing on my skin causing goose-bumps to rise, the unfamiliar look in his eyes, the tears falling from our faces, we finally called it quits, we threw in the towel. At the time I didn’t feel anything but a couple of days later, I realized I lost something that meant the world to me, a sharp pain struck my chest, sent chills down my spine and traveled through my whole body, taking my breath away.


For the first time in my entire life, I felt a pain I had never experienced before. One day it just hit me –“it was over”. I broke down, never had I cried over anything the way I cried that day. The sounds that came out of my mouth were unrecognizable. Laying on my floor, feeling a deep ache in my stomach, unable to control my breath, feeling weak, lost, and torn – I was heartbroken. I’m not going to lie; I went on a crazy, emotional rollercoaster and made some poor decisions. However, at the end of the day, had I not gone through those experiences, I would have never gained insight and perspective that makes me who I am today. I’ve discovered what I want and do not want in a relationship, what I deserve, the person I do and do not want to be – and many other lessons.


Love can teach you so many things about life but heartbreak can teach you so much more. When you truly love someone, loving is easy – it is familiar, comfortable and simple! Breaking up, however, whether it is mutual or not, can be one of the hardest things you go through. Heartbreak will rip you up in ways you never thought possible, and make you feel empty and defeated. You will feel broken into a bunch of tiny pieces. But there is an upside; heartbreak will teach you some of the most valuable lessons. It will give you an opportunity to start over, pick up those pieces, rebuild yourself, and become a better, more caring and loving person. There is beauty in even the worst of things, you just have to step back and take the time to see it.


Here are things that heartbreak taught me!


1.     THE ONLY CONSTANT IN LIFE IS CHANGE. Life is full of surprises, things change, people change – everything changes, that’s life! The person you love might love you today but tomorrow they might wake up and feel differently. Change is hard to accept but it happens and sometimes it’s for the best. Change is the biggest thing I struggled with because I didn’t ask to fall out of love, I didn’t ask to change, but I just did. I was happy and excited to see what my future held with my boyfriend but one day I woke up and felt differently. I had to face the fact that the person who knew me best will eventually know nothing at all. I counted on him on always knowing and always being there. I counted on him to be there to listen to my stupid stories or hear how my day was. I took comfort in knowing I had someone to rely on. But reliance is the first thing go after a breakup. You lose all rights to call, to ask questions, or to know what they are doing. One day I had a VIP pass to his life and the next I was shut out. This was a harsh reality that I had to face. I’ve learned to trust and appreciate the process. Instead of fighting change, I’ve learned the importance of just going with it, letting the journey run its course and allowing transformation. You just have to accept what is, let go of what was and focus on what will be.


2.     MY WEAKNESSES HELPED ME DISCOVER MY TRUE STRENGTHS. Heartbreak tested every part of me, physically, spiritually, and emotionally. For a while I felt empty and drained and anything could set me off. I could hear a song, fold a shirt he gave me, or hear his name, and it just made me so weak to the point that I cried. I used to call my ex-boyfriend “bunnies” and I remember one day I was walking back from class and a bunny crossed the sidewalk right in front me. I broke down right then and there and the girl I was with looked at me like I was a crazy person, but I kind of was at the time. (She didn’t know I called him bunnies though) I tell this story because with time, the things that triggered the tears eventually didn’t make me cry anymore. One day I just woke up and felt differently. I discovered someone inside me that I never knew existed. As I was being tested, I was growing stronger and everyday that I battled heartbreak my mind, body, and soul was preparing itself for the journey ahead. I was strong again! I could see a bunny but this time with different perspective. I can smile at the sight of a bunny and be reminded not of the pain I had but of the great memories and the small part of life I shared with someone I truly loved.


3.     LIFE GOES ON. It didn’t seem like it at first but everything turned out okay. When you love someone, life without your loved one seems unimaginable. I know I thought I couldn’t live without my ex-boyfriend, that life would just stop. But life goes on, I realized that time doesn’t stop. Whether I was ready or not, life still went on. I still had responsibilities and I had to suck it up, get out of bed and keep moving. Just know that no matter how bad it is you will get through it, you’ll see the sunlight again.  


4.     SELF-REFLECTION HELPED ME UNDERSTAND WHAT I WAS GOING THROUGH It’s good to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. I started journaling about how I was feeling day-to-day and what I can take away from what I was going through. For example, one day I heard a rumor that my ex-boyfriend was “talking” to someone and at this point we had been broken up for about seven months. I started crying but I didn’t really know how I felt about it or why I was crying. I couldn’t understand the feelings that I felt because I thought I had moved on. I wrote in my journal about it and found that I wasn’t sad or upset but the thought of him being able to love someone else and give his heart to another woman stung a little bit. I wasn’t ready for that but as I said before “life goes on”. As I wrote in my journal, I realized that if she makes him happy then that makes me happy. I still love him, just in a different way and I found peace in my heart knowing that he’s happy. This reflection showed me that I let go peacefully.


5.     YOU’LL SEE THE WORST OF YOURSELF BEFORE YOU SEE THE BEST. Heartbreak will turn you into an emotional, angry, crazy person. You’re judgment might be clouded by the pain you feel. You’ll make mistakes but its okay. I became someone I didn’t recognize but one day I realized that I didn’t want to be that person anymore. I didn’t want to let heartbreak define me so I started thinking positively. As I healed, I also started finding myself again. I started to find my happiness and through that I became a more caring and loving person.


6.     PRETENDING IS NOT A SOLUTION. I hate talking about feelings and being emotional but because I suppressed my feelings it hurt me more. I’d put on a smile for everyone, tell everyone I was over it and that I was okay but deep down I wasn’t okay, I was hurting. I let my pride get the best of me but masking your pain is never the answer. Don’t lie to yourself; it’s not good for you. It’s okay to feel whatever you are feeling. Everyone goes through hard stuff and heartbreak is hard, it’s okay to be sad. Suppressing your feelings will kill you and make you feel alone. Identify what you’re feeling, talk about it and allow it to run its course.


7.     BE SELFISH. At first, I talked to so many guys because I was trying to find that comfortableness and familiarity that I had with my ex-boyfriend. I was looking for the same affection I received before but I realized that I didn’t need a guy to make me feel good or make me happy. I forgave myself for mistakes I made and started loving myself. I love being alone and I’ve never felt more confident and independent than I do now. I do things that I would have never done before like taking voice lessons or studying abroad. So my advice, don’t start talking to the first person that you meet. Allow yourself to be alone, focus on you and what makes you happy. Self-love is one of the greatest things you can have so learn to love yourself and treat yourself how you should be treated. You’ll discover so many things about yourself that you didn’t know lied within you. Try new things and do what makes you happy.


8.     THE IMPORTANT PEOPLE WILL STAND OUT. When I was dating my ex-boyfriend, we spent all of our time together and I forgot to be there for my other friends. The person who brought me out of my misery was my best friend since freshman year of college. She came to me and let me know that she was there. If it wasn’t for her I’m not sure how things would have panned out but knowing I still had her in my corner meant more to me than she will ever know. The people that are there for you to listen to you when you cry or that show up to your room at 2 a.m. to give you comfort, those are the people that matter. When you are in a relationship sometimes you forget about your friends and you spend most of your time with your loved one. But when you break up, the people that are standing there to welcome you back with open arms are your real friends.


9.     STAY TRUE TO WHO YOU ARE. I lost who I was trying to numb the pain that I was feeling. One day I just looked at myself in the mirror and just asked why? I was losing my mind and losing myself trying to make myself feel better. I didn’t have all the answers but I changed how I reacted to the things that I couldn’t control. Don’t let yourself go. Don’t just go through the motions. Don’t lose hope or stop caring. You don’t need to prove anything to anyone. Don’t let someone get you out of your character. Open your eyes, mind and heart to the countless possibilities of life. Remain positive and let that flow into everything you think, do and say.


10.  I AM WORTHY AND VALUABLE. I found myself thinking that I would never find someone as good as my ex-boyfriend or thinking that I would never find someone who would love me and care about me like he did. I couldn’t understand how something so good can just end and I blamed myself. But then I realized that it wasn’t my fault, it was no ones fault. Life just happened! I deserve to be happy and if it’s meant to be then it will be. Whatever you go through in life will ultimately lead you to your success. You deserve to feel joy and to feel the fullness of life. When you are hurting deeply, just remember that you are so much better than that. Demand respect and don’t settle for anything less than you deserve — get rid of those people who treat you otherwise. If something doesn’t bring you happiness or make you a better person, then it has no place in your life. Always remember, just because someone desires you that doesn’t mean that they value you. There is a difference and it is extremely important to understand.








Niyah is from Kansas City, Missouri and majors in Communication, minors in Women's studies. She plans to pursue a career in the Communication Media and Journalism field. Niyah is on the Women's Varsity basketball team at Denison and is also a member of Kappa Alpha Theta. She is passionate about fashion and fitness and her hobbies include working out, writing for HerCampus, volunteering and reading good books!
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