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It’s a Saturday morning, and I sit in a coffee shop reading my new romance novel.
I’m consumed by the storyline, but in between each word, I can hear customers coming and going all around me.
The noise of the outside world doesn’t bother me at all. I’m really good at blocking out everyone and everything when I’m busy. And this book is so good that the chatter around me doesn’t interrupt this beautiful love story before my eyes.
Even though I’m into my book, I can somewhat hear bits and pieces of conversations. I can even hear the birds chirping outside each time the door opens. But my eyes never leave the words on the pages in front of me.
And then I hear his voice, and I’m instantly taken back to that night standing in the rain. My tears mixed with each rain droplet on my face. My hair cemented onto my head from the downpour. My clothes are heavy and wet.
I try to keep my eyes on the pages before me, but then I hear his laughter and it has my mind rushing back again to visions of his handsome face as he looks at me with his sad eyes, swollen and red.
I close my eyes wishing these thoughts of that terrible night to go away immediately. I pray that the man standing just a few feet away from me is not him. I’m too scared to look.
Our goodbye was painfully hard. It took me a few years to recover. I wasn’t ready to let him go. My heart was smashed into a million pieces. And I kept wondering why it had to end when I loved him so damn much. I loved him more than I loved myself. I would have done anything for him. I would have done anything to keep him.
I feel a hand on my shoulder and a slight whisper of my name.
No, no, no, no. This can’t be happening.
Before I can open my eyes, this awful pain comes rushing back to me from the pit of my soul. And my mind displays his younger self as he stands there and sputters the words that he was done with me for good this time.
I shake my head from side to side to release the images being played in my mind. And I open my eyes to a man I once loved standing there before me for the first time since that awful night so many years ago.
He looked happy, and it made me smile.
He wasn’t that boy I was madly in love with anymore. He was a man now. He was a stranger, in fact. I didn’t feel the hurt anymore. The hurt that I carried around for quite some time. And all of a sudden, flashes of everything I’ve done since we were last together now played in my mind. The life I lived without him. The goals I conquered on my own. The person I’ve become.
And I finally understood why we never worked out all those years ago. As bad as it was between us, as bad as it hurt to lose him, I felt happy that I didn’t get what I thought I wanted back then.
There is good in goodbye, even though at the time, it didn’t feel like it.
We will learn what we need and don’t need from someone.
Loving someone more than ourselves is not healthy. Over the years, I discovered the love I felt was not love at all. I was obsessed with our relationship. But we didn’t love each other. Love is commitment, not control. Love is unwavering, unbreakable connection and devotion, not lust, obsession, or loneliness.
We will learn what we deserve.
I was able to create standards for what I wanted in a partner. I learned that I deserved so much more than I was ever given. And I am no longer accepting the bare minimum from anyone. I want and deserve something real. And I won’t allow anyone who isn’t willing to prioritize our relationship to just come into my life.
We will learn more about our hearts and how to feel safe.
My heart is broken and frail. My heart has mended a thousand times over. But I discovered that my heart is big, kind, sensitive, generous, loving, and passionate. And I’m proud of what my heart is capable of giving. And I will only give my heart to someone truly worthy.
We will learn what we need and want to feel happy.
I realized that if I have to cling to someone, they are not worth it. Happiness is two people who both want to be in each other’s lives. Choosing to spend time together not because we need to, but because we want to.
We will learn how to put ourselves first.
I had to unlearn everything I knew about being in a relationship. I thought I was supposed to give all of myself to someone to prove the love I felt. Meanwhile, I was losing parts of who I was. I discovered who I was and that what I wanted actually mattered.
We will come out stronger and wiser, despite all of the hurt.
This took time and a lot of inner healing. But who I became, and who I eventually grew into, was who I was supposed to be. I never felt more like myself. I have never been happier. And I wouldn’t have been here right now if we never said goodbye.
There were lessons to be learned and strengths that I have found within myself. And no matter the pain and the hurt that was in my heart, sometimes life leads us down a different path.
I don’t regret the time we shared. It’s something I will never forget. It has made me stronger.
So when we are holding on to someone whom we need to let go of, we must always remember that someday, we will know the reason why we had to say goodbye.
We both ended up where we were supposed to be.
Don’t be afraid to let go when it’s time. There’s always good in goodbyes.
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