I started typing furiously.
A Facebook message to a woman I didn’t even know. I was on a mission. A mission to save a heart.
She simply needed to know. I convinced myself it was in the name of feminism. The enlightened women of this planet needed to stick together.
These were my skewed validations for the words I was expressing.
As I typed, hate spewed from the depths of my soul. I had never started a message with “You don’t know me but…” and it felt powerful. I was warning this woman about a man I had recently dated and very recently broken up with. I had logged onto Facebook that morning and saw a photograph of him on a trip to Mozambique with her in his arms, lounging on a beach, carefree and passionate. The caption read, ‘In Mozambique with youuuu.’ I would have found that endearing if this wasn’t the man I had fallen head over heels in love with.
It was like I had been punched in the face. For an entire year of my life, I had been on and off with this man. I had listened to him declare his love for me and then in the very same breath tell me that he simply wasn’t ready for a relationship.
The wounds of his past haunted him. His first love had been ever present in our entire relationship. A yoga teacher he had spent almost ten years with. I understood the pain attached to the ending of a relationship of that length. I held on to hope. Hope that he would heal his pain and start a life with me. I put it down to life’s bad timing.
Life tends to happen when we are making other plans.
Two weeks before his Mozambique trip (yes, I knew about the trip), we had lunch. We had decided that we would try and salvage what was left of us with friendship. I had asked him if he was seeing someone else. He denied it.
I felt relieved. The last year of my life hadn’t been wasted. I reassured myself with this knowledge when he kissed me in the car and when he checked to see if I was alright later, because this was so incredibly difficult for both of us. I took comfort in this and at the same time, I felt that nagging sensation in my gut that something was off.
That sensation had only amplified as this year had progressed and I pushed it aside. Choosing to deny the whisper of my intuition until the morning, I logged onto Facebook and that which my intuition feared stared at me in high definition perfection. A picture truly speaks a thousand words.
As I typed all of this to her, warning her that he was a man with no concept of loyalty, a man that didn’t value a woman’s heart, a man that she should stay the hell away from. I paused. I would not ignore my intuition again and it was quietly whispering to me in that moment. I stopped. I let the pain ripple through my body and I let the tears fall from my eyes. And I listened.
I had known from the minute I had met this man that we were simply not meant to be together. I had known that my own journey of healing had only just begun. Bad timing is a myth. It is always perfect timing. What is meant for you will always come at the right time and it will be there to teach, inspire and engage you and move your soul forward.
You see, this man, had brought me closer to myself than anyone else ever had. And he had done it being exactly who he was. He had shown me what parts of myself were broken and in desperate need of mending. My tumultuous ‘relationship’ with this man had put a spotlight on my own flaws and these have been things I have been actively working on.
The hardest truth I had to face—as I stared at his Facebook declaration of love—was my gratitude to this man.
I was incredibly grateful for the gift of seeing myself through his eyes. The unwarped version devoid of my own perception and sometimes debilitating filters. He was the person that drew my attention directly on to myself. Where it needs to be. In perfect alignment with my journey’s time.
I then looked at the picture of this woman who I was messaging and felt a pang of disappointment in myself. Who was she? What did she stand for? What were her goals and aspirations and dreams? And most importantly, what lesson did her new relationship have to teach her?
I started backspacing.
I backspaced all the hateful stories of how I had felt I had been wronged. I backspaced all the hurt and anger I was about to project into her inbox. Her path to knowing this man will be entirely her own and will not be tainted by what I had experienced. Even though our broken love was never meant to be, how am I to know that their love isn’t what is meant to be?
I sit now with my duster, dusting the cobwebs off the parts of myself I have chosen to ignore and I embrace the gratitude of the lesson I take away from this experience, this break up, this hurt.
I embrace where I am presently, to shape where I will be tomorrow. And I thank the universe for one photograph that has finally given me the courage to let go of a love not meant for my heart. It was a love meant for a moment in my journey, to change my direction back to myself.
Author: Amanda Van Graan
Editor: Caitlin Oriel