I’m no stranger to heartbreak.
I’ve felt the sting that comes from watching the person I love (or thought I could love) walk away. I’ve heard the words that scream “he doesn’t want me” running through my mind on repeat.
I’ve spent too many hours on too many days eating sugar until I want to vomit, or binge-watching shows until my mind is numb, or crying until my head throbs and I pass out from sheer exhaustion.
All of that is healthy (well, within reason). Or maybe not always healthy but still a relatively normal part of the grieving process. A way for us to feel and heal and then move forward.
But there’s a part of heartbreak and loneliness that isn’t healthy. A part of processing pain that doesn’t allow us to move forward but instead holds us back.
In my mind, it’s the biggest mistake we make when we’re lonely and heartbroken.
Poet and astrologist Yakari Gabriel Torres explains it so beautifully:
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Before love leaves, when we’re drunk on hope, we see the future as a place of possibilities. We know what we want and believe that we can have it all.
And when love goes, with it goes our belief that we can have the life we imagined.
Instead, we convince our hearts to settle. We give up on wanting “too much” because we convince ourselves that asking for too much and wanting too much and expecting too much is what led our previous partner(s) to walk away. We convince ourselves it’s why we’re alone and lonely.
So, we ask the universe for less. We say we just want someone who’s “nice,” who “makes us laugh,” who “won’t hurt us,” who “will stay.” We give up on our lists, our dealbreakers, our belief that we deserve more and better and healthy, and that when it comes to love, all hearts—even, and maybe especially, the broken ones—deserve a damn galaxy.
But by doing so, we don’t get closer to finding the love who’s meant to stay. We actually end up farther away, from them and from ourselves.
Instead of shrinking ourselves to fit into relationships that don’t serve us, we need to grow, to expand. We need to rise up and demand more—both for and from ourselves.
We need to use our heartbreak as a guidepost for where we’ve abandoned ourselves and our needs, and where we’ve allowed others to abandon us. And then use it as motivation to show up, to step more fully into what we deserve.
Pain, loneliness, and heartbreak aren’t meant to minimize us. These feelings are meant to ply us wide open—to ourselves, to each other, and to the endless possibilities of love.