When I am struggling to let something go, I usually have to distance myself from the situation to take time to think. Following my breakup, I began to seek distance by talking with old friends from first semester again. Moreover, I began to meet new people and build new relationships. Before flying back to Washington, I had an hour wait at the airport. I had just gotten my coffee (typical Elizabeth), and I was trying to find a seat near my gate. I noticed one spot was open. As I walked towards the table, this girl (she was about the same age as me), made room for me at the table. I was so surprised. I said to myself, awww this person is so sweet. We began talking and we both talked about our travel plans. We both went to school in Washington— so that was an immediate connection. I remember asking, “So, are you flying back to college? Is this your spring break week too?” She answered, “Yeah, but I am actually flying to Los Angeles by myself for the week. I figured I wanted to go, and I decided to book a ticket for myself.” I was so excited for her. I wished that I had the courage to travel somewhere completely by myself. She asked me, “Are you heading back to school?” I answered nervously, “Yeah a couple days early. I booked my ticket with the idea that I would maybe spend time with my boyfriend.” She looked confused, “Oh, what happened?” Following this conversation, I soon learned that this question would be the first of many when I returned back to campus. My smile faded, and I paused for a brief moment thinking, this is the reality of the situation. There’s no more “break”. I know the end-result of the question. I then looked at her and said, “We broke up.”
Reconciliation is a form of healing— it is a way to allow ourselves to be free from negativity and truly let go of the things that are only causing unnecessary stress. If you were to ask me why I decided to write about reconciliation in my blog series, I can give an honest answer. When it comes to reconciliation, I often struggle to let things go.
“Give Yourself Grace”
The first time I heard this saying was when a mentor reached out to me to check in on how I was doing with my breakup and additional rejections. As anticipated, I said “I’m good. It sucks but I am fine.” To my surprise, my mentor told me what I did not expect to hear. She said, “It is okay to acknowledge that it’s a crappy situation. It’s okay, Elizabeth. You can give yourself some grace.” I had never heard that saying before. I remember thinking, what does that mean? Grace? Huh? What do I have to give? I have no money. After hearing more about the idea of “grace”, my interpretation of this phrase meant to forgive myself and move forward with my faith. I was so caught up in how I made a mistake and should have never began a new relationship— I forgot to give myself time to heal: to come to terms with the situation and to forgive myself. I think that is something we all struggle with— we often find reconciliation to only happen externally, but the real reconciliation can also happen from within.
You Are Worthy Of Love
I think my first initial thought during this time was that I was not worthy of love. In my past relationship, I had felt like I held the other person back from reaching their full potential. There is this song from Tim McGraw called “What You’re Lookin’ For“. I Played this song nonstop after my breakup. A lyric that describes how I was feeling would be when McGraw sings,
I don’t wanna slow you down
Don’t wanna hold you down
You’re better off without me
Comparison Is A Slippery Slope
That feeling— the feeling of essentially “holding someone back”— prevented me from forgiving myself. It made me feel like I was the problem. I feared that I would never be happy in a relationship again or that I was not worthy of anyone’s love. I remember I kept seeing myself as a number. I was so hurt in this time that I no longer could explain the situation anymore. In my head, I would say to myself I am a 2 and he (my ex) is like a 10. I am not like him. I am such a lame person. I don’t have a group of friends like him. I am not going anywhere. I understand why he didn’t want to be with me. I am not enough. When we are hurt from rejection, it is so easy to de-value ourselves. For so long I felt upset at the situation and accountable for it all. I didn’t know how to respond to his reasons on why he broke up with me. His reasons where the things that I liked about myself, and I think this made me struggle to accept who I was/ am. Instead of knowing my own worth, I internalized everything. I struggled to forgive myself.
Through it all, however, I think I learned that perhaps I needed to seek to forgive myself first before attempting to seek it externally. At the end of the day, we all just want to know we are valued and appreciated. I think I had to do that during this time and remind myself that I am worthy of love.
Learning to let things go is a process. While it may not have been what I wanted to hear when I was in the midst of all my heartache, time is the only thing that really helps. There can be other minor things as well, but time helps to heal all wounds. I find healing in the times I spend in out nature or with my family & friends. Furthermore, I have learned how to heal by being on my own. This summer has served as a time for me to heal. I have been reading a lot more, hiking regularly, writing, etc. For me, this is how I heal best.
Perspective Is Everything
Through letting go, I always get to see the good in my life. I get to see my strong community who has been there for me time after time. I get to see the potential of a new relationship— that I can be loved. I get to see my faith grow through prayer and contemplation. I get to see how I have grown since February. I get to live life for me and focus on my own internal validation first before seeking it externally. I get to be more present with family. In my opinion, there is so much good when we learn to reconcile. Although this has not been an overnight process for me, I think it is important to acknowledge that I have seen the positive in my life. Furthermore, I have been able to gain perspective. It is so easy for me to get caught up in my own bubble. Whenever I talk with my friends, I am able to gain new insight. I learn that I am not alone in my struggles, but I also learn that everyone else is going through something too.
The Conversation At The Airport
The conversation that day turned out to be one of those times I gained perspective on life. Turns out, the girl I talked to at the airport and I had a lot in common. We talked for awhile, relating to each other’s experiences. She probably didn’t realize it, but it was nice to have someone be able to empathize and relate. What’s more, that was the first time since my breakup that I stopped seeing myself as a number. That conversation helped me to move forward, and I am grateful for that “flashlight” moment.
The other day at the gym I heard the song “I’m Doing Fine“by Lauren Alaina. Coincidentally, I thought it related to this blog post regarding moving on and healing. I figured I would add it because the song is genuine and helps convey how I’ve been feeling lately. I relate to the lyric when Alaina sings,
I blamed God I blamed myself
Then I fell on my knees and prayed like hell
It’s funny how a touch of grace gives you healing
Yeah, I’m healing
More Blog Posts To Come! Thank You
I just wanted to say thank you. I got a lot of kind words about my last blog post, and it warmed my heart to know that you appreciate them as much as I enjoy writing them. I don’t think I can fully articulate just how much it means a lot to me. Stay tuned for my next post in my Summer Lovin’ Series. As always, thank you for reading.