One day, whether you’re 16, 24, 55, or even 78, your path will cross with someone who will set a fire in your soul that cannot be extinguished. As I’ve slowly learned however, they are not always the ones who will keep it ignited. As bad as it hurts in that moment, I think I’ve found that it’s okay to find a love like that; one that sweeps you off your feet, but leaves you lying on the ground with a heart covered in scars and bruises. It’s okay to experience that at least once in your life.
When a relationship ends, whether it lasted several months or several years, the question of worth tends to slip across our minds. For some, it consumes every thought and every action and for others, it’s small enough to sit on the back-burner. It consumed my thoughts for a little while. I thought I had found someone I could make plans with. I wasn’t asking for a wedding the next day, I just wanted him to be there for the ups and the downs. I wanted him to be my person for as long as life would let me have him. From the moment I met him, I knew I had something special because he put a smile on my face without even trying. He held a heart that had closed itself off in the palm of his hands and was ever so careful not to drop it. He carried a girl who was still trying to find herself in a world that had suddenly grown cold. He faced every storm, every cold shoulder, every dark question that came with a mind that battled depression and self-harm on a daily basis.
I guess that got to be too heavy.
So when the day came that he could no longer bear the weight, I didn’t know what to think. For something that had felt so right, it all became something so wrong. I’ll agree; there were a few things we could have done differently to make our relationship better, but it never crossed my mind that these were little things that had piled on until the words “I can’t see a future with you” came out of the mouth that had once held sweet words of encouragement and corny laughter.
It made me question my worth. I couldn’t understand what it was about me that had made him feel that way. And I spent days after wondering if it had been the nights I spent tossing and turning because my mind never went to sleep, or if it was the Band-Aids that covered my thighs, or if it was the days I spent in a fog because I couldn’t concentrate. I wondered if it had been the constant need for reassurance that things were okay or the fact that there was no middle ground on my want for affection; I either wanted it all the time or I didn’t want it at all. I wondered what I could have changed about myself that could have made him want me.
And that’s question that hurt the most. Because I had never been that person. I had never been the person who thought they should change who they were for someone else. I don’t know where it came from or why it suddenly nestled its way into every thought and made a home in my heart. I suppose I just wanted more than anything to spend the rest of my days laughing with him. I didn’t let myself see or believe that there could ever be someone else.
There are days I see something or hear something and I miss him so much it hurts, but I’ve learned my value doesn’t decrease based on someone’s inability to see my worth. And it doesn’t increase based on someone’s desires to be with me. Because you don’t find your worth in another person. You find your worth within yourself and then find someone who’s worthy of you.
For those of you battling a broken heart, wondering what you did or what you could have done differently, I hope you wake up one day soon with the lightest of hearts and are able to respond with a smile instead of feeling like someone is sticking a dagger through your heart. I hope you realize your worth and learn to never give anyone a discount when you finally do. I hope you know you are whole and complete on your own. A relationship should allow you to commit yourself, not complete yourself.
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