“You Intimidate Him” And Other Laughable Bullshit We Tell Ourselves.
When the love of your life leaves, you are left with a bottomless void that validation once filled.
You are left to pick apart each and every flaw while you critically assess your self-worth. You lay dreams of a proposal to rest, and realize that your Pinterest board of country-inspired wedding themes will never materialize.
After you have watched three consecutive seasons of Sex and the City in hopes of finding strength in Carrie Bradshaw as a newly single woman, others will be there to ease your devastation by reaffirming how beautiful, strong, and independent you are. You will be told sweet nothings to reaffirm your identity and help you piece yourself back together.
Closest friends will comfort you by insisting that you are better off without him, and that he is making the biggest mistake of his life by walking away. You will be showered with compliments, and reassured that his existence without you will be meaningless. In all actuality, you will be spoon-fed complete and utter bullshit because you are incapable of swallowing the bitter truth in your most vulnerable moments.
The truth is: Everything will not be okay. He will more than likely not regret leaving you. In fact, you will be a distant memory that he thinks of briefly when a shitty pop song comes on the radio and then you will once again fade into the ex-girlfriend abyss. He was not intimidated by you or too immature or too busy or not ready for commitment (my absolute favorite), he just did not love you.
He is not making a mistake by leaving, and may actually go on to live an amazing life with a more suitable partner.
I know that your ego is seething at the thought of rejection and the loss of perceived control that you had clung to. Your pride is in overdrive in an attempt to counteract the devastation by reminding you of your worth. While I am certain that you are witty and charismatic with a free spirit, legs for days, and a solid 401k plan, none of that is going to bring him back because that is not what he was looking for.
I do not highlight these truths to be cruel, I bring them to light because we cannot continue to ease our pain with lies and remain in the darkness.
We, as humans, avoid pain and discomfort. Rather than sitting with shame, disappointment, or heartbreak, we soothe our weary hearts with lies. Our fragile egos are pieced back together with delusions that allow us to make sense of an unjust reality — one in which the boy does not get the girl and there is no happily ever after.
We have traded growth for comfort, and have subsequently become damsels instead of heroines.
We lie to ourselves and others as a means of protection, but we are only causing damage and fostering weakness. We must slip off our white gloves and dirty our hands with the truth. We can survive losing love and validation from another. We can conquer fear and uncertainty. We can grow stronger, but only after being destroyed, only after sleepless nights and unbearable anxiety.
Do not sugarcoat reality so you can swallow it whole.
Not everything happens for a reason. Not every cloud has a silver lining. Not everything gets better with time. We are fed lies to fill the emptiness because we cannot sit with the truth or do not believe that we are capable of overcoming the devastation, but we are.
Your ability to overcome adversity lies in your willingness to sit with each of your faults and insecurities, your skeletons and your crippling fears. Embrace heartache with the same openness as new love. We judge emotions and decide which ones we want to feel, rather than accepting the highs and lows that create the human experience.
Excitement, happiness, and a sense of belonging are more often preferred over anxiety, depression, and loneliness; however, we must not choose which ones we feel and which ones we avoid. The heart is a muscle that becomes strong through endurance, not cowardice.
We must sit with unbearable pain until it is no longer unbearable, but welcomed.
Revel in loneliness and unrequited love. Allow fear and anxiety to take your breath away until you can inhale peace and exhale acceptance. Become intoxicated with betrayal and disappointment just as you would with excitement, passion, or adoration. We must not be foolish enough to believe that one can grow by covering their eyes during times of misfortune.
We must silence our egos and sit with the truth, rather than healing our wounds with the comfort of fiction.